The Project Gutenberg EBook of From Egypt to Japan, by Henry M. Field

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Title: From Egypt to Japan

Author: Henry M. Field

Release Date: April 18, 2012 [EBook #39474]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Transcriber's Note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation in the original document have been preserved.




Copyright by

Printing and Bookbinding Co.
205-213 East 12th St.,

To My Brothers,



This Volume is Dedicated,



I. Crossing the Mediterranean—Alexandria—Cairo—The Pyramids, 1
II. On the Nile, 15
III. The Temples of Egypt—Did Moses get his law from the Egyptians? 28
IV. The Egyptian doctrine of a future life, 37
V. The Religion of the Prophet, 45
VI. Modern Egypt and the Khedive, 62
VII. Midnight in the Heart of the Great Pyramid, 80
VIII. Leaving Egypt—The Desert, 96
IX. On the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, 106
X. Bombay—First Impressions of India, 115
XI. Travelling in India—Allahabad—The Mela, 131
XII. Agra—Visit of The Prince of Wales—Palace of the Great Mogul—The Taj, 148
XIII. Delhi—A Mohammedan Festival—Scenes in the Mutiny, 162
XIV. From Delhi to Lahore, 172
XV. A Week in the Himalayas, 182
XVI. The Tragedy of Cawnpore, 210
XVII. The Story of Lucknow, 222
XVIII. The English Rule in India, 236
XIX. Missions in India—Do Missionaries do any good? 249
XX. Benares, the Holy City of the Hindoos, 265
XXI. Calcutta—Farewell to India, 280
XXII. Burmah—The Malayan Peninsula—Singapore, 292
XXIII. The Island of Java, 326
XXIV. Up the China Seas—Hong Kong and Canton, 365
XXV. Three Weeks in Japan, 397

This volume is complete in itself, though it is the Second Part of a Journey Round the World, of which the First Part was published a year ago, with the title "From the Lakes of Killarney to the Golden Horn." The volumes are uniform in style and naturally go together, though either is complete without the other.





On the Bosphorus there are birds which the Turks call "lost souls," as they are never at rest. They are always on the wing, like stormy petrels, flying swift and low, just skimming the waters, yet darting like arrows, as if seeking for something which they could not find on land or sea. This spirit of unrest sometimes enters into other wanderers than those of the air. One feels it strongly as he comes to the end of one continent, and "casts off" for another; as he leaves the firm, familiar ground, and sails away to the distant and the unknown.

So felt a couple of travellers who had left America to go around the world, and after six months in Europe, were now to push on to the farthest East. It was an autumn afternoon near the close of the year 1875, that they left Constantinople, and sailed down the Marmora, and through the Dardanelles, between the Castles of Europe and Asia, whose very names suggested the continents that they were leaving behind, and set their faces towards Africa.

They could not go to Palestine. An alarm of cholera in Damascus had caused a cordon sanitaire to be drawn along the Syrian coast; and though they might get in, they could not so easily get away; or would be detained ten days in a 2 Lazaretto before they could pass into Egypt; and so they were obliged at the last moment to turn from the Holy Land, and sail direct for Alexandria; touching, however, at Mitylene and Scio; and passing a day at Smyrna and at Syra. With these detentions the voyage took nearly a week, almost as long as to cross the Atlantic.

But it was not without its compensations. There was a motley company in the cabin, made up of all nations and all religions: English and Americans, French and Germans and Russians, Greeks and Turks, Christians and Mohammedans. There was a grand old Turk, who was going out to be a judge in Mecca, and was travelling with his harem, eight women, who were carefully screened from the observation of profane eyes. And there were other Mussulmans of rank, gentlemen in manners and education, who would be addressed as Effendis or Beys, or perhaps as Pashas, who did not hesitate to spread their small Persian carpets in the cabin or on the deck at any hour, and kneel and prostrate themselves, and say their prayers.

Besides these, the whole forward part of the ship was packed with pilgrims (there were four hundred of them) going to Mecca: Turks in white turbans and baggy trousers; and Circassians in long overcoats, made of undressed sheepskins, with tall, shaggy hats, like the bear-skin shakos of Scotch grenadiers. Some of them had their belts stuck thick with knives and pistols, as if they expected to have to fight their way to the tomb of the Prophet. Altogether they were not an attractive set, and yet one could not view, without a certain respect, a body of men animated by a strong religious feeling which impelled them to undertake this long pilgrimage; it requires three months to go and return. Nor could one listen quite unmoved as at different hours of the day, at sunrise, or midday, or sunset, the muezzin climbed to the upper deck, and in a wailing voice called the hour of prayer, and the true believers, standing up, rank on rank, 3 turned their faces towards Mecca, and reverently bowed themselves and worshipped.

On the afternoon of the sixth day we came in sight of a low-lying coast, with not a hill or elevation of any kind rising above the dreary waste, the sea of waters breaking on a sea of sand. The sun sinking in the west showed the lighthouse at Alexandria, but as the channel is narrow and intricate, ships are not allowed to enter after sunset; and so we lay outside all night, but as soon as the morning broke, steamed up and entered the harbor. Here was the same scene as at Constantinople—a crowd of boats around the ship, and boatmen shouting and yelling, jumping over one another in their eagerness to be first, climbing on board, and rushing on every unfortunate traveller as if they would tear him to pieces. But they are not so terrible as they appear, and so it always comes to pass, that whether "on boards or broken pieces of the ship," all come safe to land.

In spite of this wild uproar, it was not without a strange feeling of interest that we first set foot in Africa. A few days before we had touched the soil of Asia, on the other side of the Bosphorus—the oldest of the continents, the cradle of the human race. And now we were in Africa—in Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, out of which Moses led the Israelites; the land of the Pyramids, the greatest monuments of ancient civilization.

As soon as one comes on shore, he perceives that he is in a different country. The climate is different, the aspects of nature are different, the people are different, the very animals are different. Caravans of camels are moving slowly through the streets, and outside of the city, coming up to its very walls, as if threatening to overwhelm it, is the "great and terrible" desert, a vast and billowy plain, whose ever-drifting sands would speedily bury all the works of man, if they were not kept back from destruction by the waters of the Nile, which is at once the creator and preserver of Egypt. 4

Alexandria, although founded by Alexander the Great, whose name it bears, and therefore more than two thousand years old—and although in its monuments, Cleopatra's Needle and Pompey's Pillar, it carries back the mind to the last of the Ptolemies, the proud daughter of kings, and to her Roman lovers and conquerors—has yet in many parts quite a modern aspect, and is almost a new city. It has felt, more than most places in the East, the influence of European civilization. Commerce is returning to its ancient seats along the Mediterranean, and the harbor of Alexandria is filled with a forest of ships, that reminds one of New York or Liverpool.

But as it becomes more European, it is less Oriental; and though more prosperous, is less picturesque than other parts of Egypt; and so, after a couple of days, we left for Cairo, and now for the first time struck the Nile, which reminds an American traveller of the Missouri, or the lower Mississippi. It is the same broad stream of turbid, yellow waters, flowing between low banks. This is the Great River which takes its rise in the heart of Africa, beyond the equator, at a point so remote that, though the Valley of the Nile was four thousand years ago the seat of the greatest empire of antiquity, yet to this day the source of the river is the problem of geographers. Formerly it was a three days' journey from Alexandria to Cairo, but the railroad shortens it to a ride of four hours, in which we crossed both branches of the Nile. Just at noon we came in sight of the Pyramids, and in half an hour were driving through the streets of the capital of Egypt.

We like Cairo, after two or three weeks, much better than Constantinople. It has another climate and atmosphere; and is altogether a gayer and brighter city. The new quarter occupied by foreigners is as handsomely built as any European city. The streets are wide and well paved, like the new streets and boulevards of Paris. We are at 5 the "Grand New Hotel," fronting on the Ezbekieh gardens, a large square, filled with trees, with kiosks for music, and other entertainments. Our windows open on a broad balcony, from which we can hear the band playing every afternoon, while around us is the city, with its domes and minarets and palm trees.

The great charm of Egypt is the climate. It is truly the Land of the Sun. We landed on the first day of December, but we cannot realize that this is winter. The papers tell us that it is very cold in New York, and that the Hudson river is frozen over; but here every thing is in bloom, as in mid-summer, and I wear a straw hat to protect me from the heat of the sun. But it is not merely the warmth, but the exquisite purity of the atmosphere, that makes it so delicious. The great deserts on both sides drink up every drop of moisture, and every particle of miasm that is exhaled from the decaying vegetation of the Valley of the Nile, and send back into these streets the very air of Paradise.

Having thus the skies of Italy, and a much more balmy air, it is not strange that Egypt attracts travellers from France, and England, and America. It is becoming more and more a resort not only for invalids, but for that wealthy class who float about the world to find the place where they can pass existence with the most of languid ease. Many come here to escape the European winters, and to enjoy the delicious climate, and they are from so many countries, that Cairo has become a cosmopolitan city. As it is on the road to India, it is continually visited by English officers and civilians, going or returning. Of late years it has become a resort also for Americans. A number of our army officers have taken service under the Khedive, who rendezvous chiefly at this New Hotel, so that with the travellers of the same country, we can talk across the table of American affairs, as if we were at Newport or Saratoga. Owing to the influx of so many foreigners, this Hotel and "Shepheard's" 6 seem like small colonies of Europeans. Hearing only English, or French, or German, one might believe himself at one of the great hotels in Switzerland, or on the Rhine. A stranger who wishes to pass a winter in Cairo, need not die of ennui for want of the society of his countrymen.

Besides these officers in the army, the only Americans here in official positions, are the Consul General Beardsley, and Judge Batcheller, who was appointed by our Government to represent the United States in the Mixed Court lately established in Egypt. Both these gentlemen are very courteous to their countrymen, while giving full attention to their duties. As we have sometimes had abroad consuls and ministers of whom we could not be proud, it is something to be able to say, that those here now in official position are men of whom we need not be ashamed as representatives of our country.

Another household which should not be overlooked, since it gives an American a home feeling in Cairo, is that of the American Mission. This has been here some years, and so won the favor of the government, that the former Viceroy gave it a site for its schools, which proved so valuable that the present Khedive has recently bought it back, by giving a new site and £7000 into the bargain. The new location is one of the best in Cairo, near the Ezbekieh square, and here with the proceeds of the sale, and other funds contributed for the object, the Mission is erecting one of the finest buildings for such purposes in the East, where their chapel and schools, in which there are now some five hundred children, will be under one roof.

This Mission School some years ago was the scene of a romantic incident. An Indian prince, then living in England, was on his way to India, with the body of his mother, who had died far from her country, but with the prejudices of a Hindoo strong in death, wished her body to be taken 7 back to the land of her birth. While passing through Cairo, he paid a visit to the American Mission, and was struck with the face of a young pupil in the girls' school, and after due inquiry proposed to the missionaries to take her as his wife. They gave their consent, and on his return they were married, and he took her with him to England. This was the Maharajah Dhuleep Sing, a son of old Runjeet Sing, the Lion of Lahore, who raised up a race of warriors, that after his death fought England, and whose country, the Punjaub, the English annexed to their Indian dominions; and here, as in other cases, removed a pretender out of the way by settling a large pension on the heir to the throne. Thus the Maharajah came into the possession of a large revenue from the British government, amounting, I am told, to some £30,000 a year. Having been from his childhood under English pupilage, he has been brought up as a Christian, and finds it to his taste to reside in England, where he is able to live in splendor, and is a great favorite at court. His choice of a wife proved a most happy one, as the modest young pupil of Cairo introduced into his English home, with the natural grace of her race, for she is partly of Arab descent, the culture and refinement learned in a Mission school. Nor does he forget what he owes to the care of those who watched over her in her childhood, but sends a thousand pounds every year to the school in grateful acknowledgment of the best possible gift it could make to him, that of a noble Christian wife.

Besides this foreign society, there is also a resident society which, to those who can be introduced to it, is very attractive. The government of the Khedive has brought into his service some men who would be distinguished in any European court or capital. The most remarkable of these is Nubar Pasha, long the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Judge Batcheller kindly took me to the house of the old statesman, who received us cordially. On hearing that I 8 was on my way around the world, he exclaimed, "Ah, you Americans! You are true Bedouins!" I asked him what was the best guide-book to Egypt? He answered instantly, "The Bible." It was delightful to see his enthusiasm for Egypt, although he is not an Egyptian. He is not an Arab, nor a Turk, nor even a Mussulman; but an Armenian by birth and by religion. His uncle, Nubar Pasha, came over with Mehemet Ali, whose prime minister he was for forty years; and his nephew, who inherits his name, inherits also the traditions of that great reign. Though born on the other side of the Mediterranean, he is in heart an Egyptian. He loves the country of his adoption, and all his thoughts and his political ambition are for its greatness and prosperity. He has lived here so long that he sometimes speaks of himself playfully as "one of the antiquities of Egypt." "Of the first dynasty?" we ask. "Yes, of the time of Menes." I do not believe he could exist anywhere else. He loves not only the climate, but even the scenery of Egypt, which is more charming to his eyes than the hills and vales of Scotland or the mountains of Switzerland. "But you must admit," I said, "that it has a great monotony." "No," he replied, "in Lombardy there is monotony; but Egypt is immensity, infinity, eternity. The features of the landscape may be the same, but the eye never wearies." Surely his eye never does, for it is touched with a poetic vision; he sees more than meets the common eye; every passing cloud changes the lights and shadows; and to him there is more of beauty in the sunset flashing through the palm groves, as the leaves are gently stirred by the evening wind, than in all the luxuriance of tropical forests. Even if we did not quite share his enthusiasm, we could not but be charmed by the pictures which were floating before his mind's eye, and by the eloquence of his description. As he loves the country, so he loves the people of Egypt. Poor and helpless as they are, they have won upon his affection; he says "they are 9 but children;" but if they have the weakness of children, they have also their simplicity and trustfulness; and I could see that his great ambition was to break up that system of forced labor which crushes them to the earth, and to secure to them at least some degree of liberty and of justice.

With all its newness and freshness this city retains its Oriental character. Indeed Grand Cairo is said to be the most Oriental of cities except Damascus. It has four hundred thousand inhabitants, and in its ancient portions has all the peculiar features of the East. Not only is the city different from Constantinople, but the people are different; they are another race, and speak another language. Turks and Arabs are as different as Englishmen and Frenchmen.

We are entertained every time that we go out of doors, with the animated and picturesque life of the streets. There are all races and all costumes, and all modes of locomotion. There are fine horses and carriages. I feel like Joseph riding in Pharaoh's chariot, when we take a carriage to ride out to Shoobra, one of the palaces of the Khedive, with syces dressed in white running before to herald our royal progress, and shout to the people to get out of our way. But one who prefers a more Oriental mode of riding, can mount a camel, or stoop to a donkey, for the latter are the smallest creatures that ever walked under the legs of a man, and if the rider be very tall, he will need to hold up his feet to keep them from dangling on the ground. Yet they are hardy little creatures, and have a peculiar amble which they keep up all day. They are very useful for riding, especially in some parts of the city where the streets are too narrow to allow a carriage to pass.

The donkey-men are very sharp, like their tribe in all parts of the world. The Arabs have a great deal of natural wit, which might almost entitle them to be called the Irish of the East. They have picked up a few words of English, and it 10 is amusing to hear them say, with a most peculiar accent, "All right," "Very good," "Go ahead." They seem to know everybody, and soon find out who are their best customers. I cannot go down the steps without a dozen rushing toward me, calling out "Doctor, want a donkey?" One of them took me on my weak side the first day by saying that the name of his animal was "Yankee Doodle," and so I have patronized that donkey ever since, and a tough little beast he is, scudding away with me on his back at a great rate. His owner, a fine looking Arab, dressed in a loose blue gown and snowy turban, runs barefooted behind him, to prick him up, if he lags in his speed, or if perchance he goes too fast, to seize him by the tail, and check his impetuosity. We present a ludicrous spectacle when thus mounted, setting out for the bazaars, where our experience of Constantinople is repeated.

Of course the greatest sight around Cairo is the Pyramids. It is an event in one's life to see these grandest monuments of antiquity. The excursion is now very easy. They are eight miles from Cairo, and it was formerly a hard day's journey to go there and back, as one could only ride on a donkey or a camel, and had to cross the river in boats; and the country was often inundated, so that one had to go miles around. But the Khedive, who does everything here, has changed all that. He has built an iron bridge over the Nile, and a broad road, raised above the height of the annual inundations, so as never to be overflowed, and lined with trees, the rapid-growing acacia, so that one may drive through a shaded avenue the whole way. A shower which had fallen the night before we went (a very rare thing in Egypt at this season) had laid the dust and cooled the air, so that the day was perfect, and we drove in a carriage in an hour and a half from our hotel to the foot of the Pyramids. The two largest of these are in sight as soon as one crosses the Nile, but though six miles distant they seem quite 11 near. Yet at first, and even when close to them, they hardly impress the beholder with their real greatness. This is owing to their pyramidal form, which, rising before the eye like the slope of a hill, does not strike the senses or the imagination as much as smaller masses which rise perpendicularly. One can hardly realize that the Pyramid of Cheops is the largest structure in the world—the largest probably ever reared by human hands. But as it slopes to the top, it does not present its full proportions to the eye, nor impress one so much as some of the Greek temples with their perpendicular columns, or the Gothic churches with their lofty arches, and still loftier towers, soaring to heaven. Yet the Great Pyramid is higher than them all, higher even than the spire of the Cathedral at Strasburg; while in the surface of ground covered, the most spacious of them, even St. Peter's at Rome, seems small in comparison. It covers eleven acres, a space nearly as large as the Washington Parade Ground in New York; and is said by Herodotus to have taken a hundred thousand men twenty years to build it. Pliny agrees in the length of time, but says the number of workmen employed was over three hundred thousand!

But mere figures do not give the best impression of height; the only way to judge of the Great Pyramid is to see it and to ascend it. One can go to the top by steps, but as these steps are blocks of stone, many of which are four feet high, it is not quite like walking up stairs. One could hardly get up at all but with the help of the Arabs, who swarm on the ground, and make a living by selling their services. Four of them set upon me, seizing me by the hands, and dragging me forward, and with pulling and pushing and "boosting," urged on by my own impatience—for I would not let them rest a moment—in ten minutes we were at the top, which they thought a great achievement, and rubbed down my legs, as a groom rubs down a horse after a race, and clapped me on the back, and shouted "All right," "Very 12 good." I felt a little pride in being the first of our party on the top, and the last to leave it.

These Arab guides are at once very troublesome and very necessary. One cannot get along without them, and yet they are so importunate in their demands for backsheesh that they become a nuisance. They are nominally under the orders of a Sheik, who charges two English shillings for every traveller who is assisted to the top, but that does not relieve one from constant appeals going up and down. I found it the easiest way to get rid of them to give somewhat freely, and thus paid three or four times the prescribed charge before I got to the bottom. No doubt I gave far too much, for they immediately quoted me to the rest of the party, and held me up as a shining example. I am afraid I demoralized the whole tribe, for some friends who went the next day were told of an American who had been there the day before, who had given "beautiful backsheesh." The cunning fellows, finding I was an easy subject, followed me from one place to another, and gave me no peace even when wandering among the tombs, or when taking our lunch in the Temple of the Sphinx, but at every step clamored for more; and when I had given them a dozen times, an impudent rascal came up even to the carriage, as we were ready to drive away, and said that two or three shillings more would "make all serene!"—a phrase which he had caught from some strolling American, and which he turns to good account.

But one would gladly give any sum to get rid of petty annoyances, and to be able to look around him undisturbed. Here we are at last on the very summit of the Great Pyramid, and begin to realize its immensity. Below us men look like mice creeping about, and the tops of trees in the long avenue show no larger than hot-house plants. The eye ranges over the valley of the Nile for many miles—a carpet of the richest green, amid which groups of palms rise like islands in a sea. To the east beyond the Nile is Cairo, its domes 13 and minarets standing out against the background of the Mokattam hills, while to the west stretches far away the Libyan desert.

Overlooking this broad landscape, one can trace distinctly the line of the overflow of the Nile. Wherever the waters come, there is greenness and fertility; at the point where they cease, there is barrenness and desolation. It is a perpetual struggle between the waters and the sands, like that which is always going on in human history between barbarism and civilization.

In the Pyramids the two things which impress us most are their vast size and their age. As we stand on the top, and look down the long flight of steps which leads to the valley below, we find that we are on the crest of a mountain of stone. Some idea of the enormous mass imbedded in the Great Pyramid may be gathered from the fact, ascertained by a careful computation (estimating its weight at seven millions of tons, and considering it a solid mass, its chambers and passages being as far as discovered but 1/2000th of the whole), that these blocks of stone, placed end to end, would make a wall a foot and a half broad, and ten feet high around England, a distance of 883 miles—a wall that would shut in the island up to the Scottish border.

And the Pyramids are not only the greatest, but the oldest monuments of the human race, the most venerable structures ever reared by the hand of man. They are far older than any of the monuments of Roman or Grecian antiquity. They were a marvel and a mystery then as much as they are to-day. How much older cannot be said with certainty. Authorities are not fully agreed, but the general belief among the later chronologists is that the Great Pyramid was built about two thousand one hundred and seventy years before the time of Christ, and the next in size a century later. Thus both have been standing about four thousand years. Napoleon was right therefore when he said to 14 his soldiers before the battle fought with the Mamelukes under the shadow of the Pyramids, "From those heights forty centuries behold you." This disposes of the idea which some have entertained, that they were built by the children of Israel when they were in Egypt; for according to this they were erected two hundred years before even the time of Abraham. Jacob saw them when he came down into Egypt to buy corn; and Joseph showed them to his brethren. The subject Hebrews looked up to them in the days of their bondage. Moses saw them when he was brought up in the court of Pharaoh, and they disappeared from the view of the Israelites only when they fled to the Red Sea. They had been standing a thousand years when Homer sang of the siege of Troy; and here came Herodotus the father of history, four hundred years before Christ, and gazed with wonder, and wrote about them as the most venerable monuments of antiquity, with the same curious interest as Rawlinson does to-day. So they have been standing century after century, while the generations of men have been flowing past, like the waters of the Nile.

We visited the Great Pyramid again on our return from Upper Egypt, and explored the interior, but reserve the description to another chapter.




At last we are on the Nile, floating as in a dream, in the finest climate in the world, amid the monuments and memories of thousands of years. Anything more delightful than this climate for winter cannot be imagined. The weather is always the same. The sky is always blue, and we are bathed in a soft, delicious atmosphere. In short, we seem to have come, like the Lotus-eaters, to "a land where it is always afternoon." In such an air and such a mood, we left Cairo to make the voyage to which we had been looking forward as an event in our lives.

To travellers who desire to visit Egypt, and to see its principal monuments, without taking more time than they have at command, it is a great advantage that there is now a line of steamers on the Nile. The boats belong to the Khedive, but are managed by Cook & Son, of London, the well-known conductors of excursions in Europe and the East. They leave Cairo every fortnight, and make the trip to the First Cataract and back in twenty days, thus comprising the chief objects of interest within a limited time. Formerly there was no way to go up the Nile except by chartering a boat, with a captain and crew for the voyage. This mode of travel had many charms. The kind of boat—called a dahabeeah—was well fitted for the purpose, with a cabin large enough for a single family, or a very small party, and an upper deck covered with awnings; and as it spread its three-cornered lateen sail to the wind, it presented a pretty and picturesque object, and the traveller floated along at his own 16 sweet will. This had only the drawback of taking a whole winter. But to leisurely tourists, who like to do everything thoroughly, and so take but one country in a year; or learned Egyptologists, who wish, in the intervals of seeing monuments, to make a special study of the history of Egypt; or invalids, who desire only to escape the damps and fogs of Britain, or the bitter cold of the Northern States of America—nothing can be imagined more delightful. There is a class of overworked men for whom no medicine could be prescribed more effectual than a winter idled away in this soothing, blissful rest. Nowhere in the world can one obtain more of the dolce far niente, than thus floating slowly and dreamily on the Nile. But for those of us who are wandering over all the earth, crossing all the lands and seas in the round world, this slow voyaging will not answer.

Nor is it necessary. One can see Egypt—not of course minutely, but sufficiently to get a general impression of the country—in a much less time. It must be remembered that this is not like other countries which lie four-square, presenting an almost equal length and breadth, but in shape is a mere line upon the map, being a hundred times as long as it is broad. To be exact, Egypt from the apex of the Delta—that is from Cairo—to the First Cataract, nearly six hundred miles, is all enclosed in a valley, which, on an average, is only six miles wide, the whole of which may be seen from the deck of a steamer, while excursions are made from day to day to the temples and ruins. It is a mistake to suppose that one sees more of these ruins on a boat because he is so much longer about it, when the extra time consumed is not spent at Denderah or Thebes, but floating lazily along with a light wind, or if the wind be adverse, tied up to a bank to await a change. In a steamer the whole excursion is well divided, ample time being allowed to visit every point of interest, as at Thebes, where the boat stops three days. As soon as one point is done, it moves on to another. In this 17 way no time is lost, and one can see as much in three weeks as in a dahabeeah in three months.

Our boat carried twenty-seven passengers, of whom more than half were Americans, forming a most agreeable company. All on deck, we watched with interest the receding shores, as we sailed past the island of Rhoda, where, according to tradition, the infant Moses was found in the bulrushes; and where the Nilometer, a pillar planted in the water ages ago, still marks the annual risings and fallings of the great river of Egypt. The Pyramids stood out clear against the western sky. That evening we enjoyed the first of a series of glorious sunsets on the Nile. Our first sail was very short—only to Sakkara, a few miles above Cairo, where we lay to for the night, the boat being tied up to the bank, in the style of a steamer on the Mississippi.

Early the next morning our whole company hastened ashore, where a large array of donkeys was waiting to receive us. These had been sent up from Cairo the night before. My faithful attendant was there with "Yankee Doodle," and claimed me as his special charge. We were soon mounted and pricking over what we should call "bottom lands" in the valleys of our Western rivers, the wide plain being relieved only by the palm groves, and rode through an Arab village, where we were pursued by a rabble rout of ragged children. The dogs barked, the donkeys brayed, and the children ran. Followed by such a retinue, we approached the Pyramids of Sakkara, which stand on the same plateau as those of Ghizeh, and are supposed to be even older in date. Though none of them are equal to the Great Pyramid, they belong to the same order of Cyclopean architecture, and are the mighty monuments of an age when there were giants in the earth.

There is a greater wonder still in the Tombs of the Sacred Bulls, which were long buried beneath the sands of the desert, but have been brought to light by a modern explorer, 18 but which I will not describe here, as I shall speak of them again in illustration of the religious ideas of the Egyptians.

Near the Pyramids of Sakkara is the site of Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt, of whose magnificence we have the most authentic historic accounts, but of which hardly a trace remains. We galloped our donkeys a long distance that we might pass over the spot where it stood, but found only great mounds of earth, with here and there a few scattered blocks of granite, turned up from the soil, to tell of the massive structures that are buried beneath. The chief relic of its former glory is a statue of Rameses the Great, one of the most famous of the long line of the Pharaohs—a statue which was grand enough to be worthy of a god—being some fifty feet high, but which now lies stretched upon the earth, with its face downward, all its fine proportions completely buried in a little pond—or rather puddle—of dirty water! At certain seasons of the year, when the Nile subsides, the features are exposed, and one may look upon a countenance "whose bend once did awe the world;" but at present, seeing only the back, and that broken, it has no appearance or shape of anything, and might be a king, or queen, or crocodile. What a bitter satire is it on all human pride, that this mighty king and conqueror, the Napoleon of his day—who made nations tremble—now lies prone on the earth, his imperial front buried in the slime and ooze of the Nile! That solitary stone is all that is left of a city of temples and palaces, which are here entombed, and where now groves of palms wave their tasselled plumes, like weeping willows over the sepulchre of departed greatness.

Our next excursion was to the remains of a very remote antiquity on the other side of the Nile—the Rock-Tombs of Beni-Hassan—immense caverns cut in the side of a mountain, in which were buried the great ones of Egypt four thousand years ago. Many of them are inscribed with hieroglyphics, and decorated with frescoes and bas-reliefs, in which we 19 recognize not only the appearance of the ancient Egyptians, but even of the animals which were familiar in that day, such as the lion, the jackal, and the gazelle, and more frequently the beasts of burden—bulls and donkeys; but in none do we discover the horse, nor, what is perhaps even more remarkable in a country surrounded by deserts—the camel.

In the King's tomb, or sepulchral chamber, a room some forty feet square, hollowed out of the solid rock, the vaulted roof is supported by Doric pillars, which shows that the Greeks obtained many of their ideas of architecture in Egypt, as well as of philosophy and religion.

As we continue our course up the river, we observe more closely the features of the valley of the Nile. It is very narrow and is abruptly bounded by barren and ragged mountains. Between these barriers the river winds like a serpent from side to side, now to the east, and now to the west, but inclining more to the range of Eastern or Arabian hills, leaving the greater breadth of fertility on the western bank. Here is the larger number of villages; here is the railroad which the Khedive has built along the valley, beside which runs the long line of telegraph poles, that sign of civilization, keeping pace with the iron track, and passing beyond it, carrying the electric cord to the upper Nile, to Nubia and Soudan. The Khedive, with that enterprise which marks his administration, has endeavored to turn the marvellous fertility of this valley to the most profitable uses. He has encouraged the culture of cotton, which became very extensive during our civil war, and is still perhaps the chief industry of the country. Next to this is the growth of the sugar-cane: he has expended millions in the erection of great manufactories of sugar, whose large white walls and tall chimneys are the most conspicuous objects at many points along the Nile.

Now, as thousands of years ago, the great business of the people is irrigation. The river does everything. It fertilizes 20 the land; it yields the crops. The only thing is to bring the water to the land at the seasons when the river does not overflow. This is done by a very simple and rude apparatus, somewhat like an old-fashioned well-sweep, by which a bucket is lowered into the river, and as it is swung up the water is turned into a trench which conducts it over the land. This is the shadoof, the same which was used in the time of Moses. There is another method by which a wheel is turned by an ox, lifting up a series of buckets attached to a chain, but this is too elaborate and expensive for the greater part of the poor people who are the tillers of the soil.

We pass a great number of villages, but, larger and smaller, all present the same general features. At a distance they have rather a pretty effect, as they are generally embowered in palm trees, out of which sometimes peers the white minaret of a mosque. But a nearer approach destroys all the picturesqueness. The houses are built of unburnt brick, dried in the sun. They are mere huts of mud—as wretched habitations as an Irish hovel or an Indian wigwam. The floor is the earth, where all sexes and ages sit on the ground, while in an enclosure scarcely separate from the family, sheep and goats, and dogs and asses and camels, lie down together.

The only pretty feature of an Arab village is the doves. Where these Africans got their fondness for birds, I know not, but their mud houses are surmounted—and one might almost say castellated—with dove-cotes, which of course are literally "pigeon-holed," and stuck round with branches, to seem like trees, and these rude aviaries are alive with wings all day long. It was a pretty and indeed a touching sight to see these beautiful creatures, cooing and fluttering above, presenting such a contrast, in their airy flights and bright plumage, to the dark and sad human creatures below.

But if the houses of the people are so mean and poor, their clothing is still worse, consisting generally of but one garment, a kind of sack of coarse stuff. The men working at the 21 shadoof on the river brink have only a strip of cloth around their loins. The women have a little more dress than the men, though generally barefoot and bareheaded—while carrying heavy jars of water on their heads. The children have the merest shred of a garment, a clout of rags, in such tatters that you wonder how it can hold together, while many are absolutely naked.

This utter destitution would entail immense suffering, and perhaps cause the whole race to die out, but for the climate, which is so mild that it takes away in a great degree the need of shelter and raiment, which in other countries are necessary to human existence.

This extreme poverty is aggravated by one disease, which is almost universal. The bright sun, glaring on the white sands, produces an inflammation of the eyes, which being neglected, often ends in blindness. I have seen more men in Egypt with one eye, or with none, than in all Europe.

It might be supposed that a people, thus reduced by poverty and smitten by disease, would be crushed out of all semblance of humanity. And yet this Arab race is one which has a strong tenacity of life. Most travellers judge them harshly, because they are disgusted by the unceasing cry for backsheesh, which is the first word that a stranger hears as he lands in Egypt, and the last as he leaves it. But even this (although it is certainly a nuisance and a pest) might be regarded with more merciful judgment, if it were considered that it is only the outward sign of an internal disease; that general beggary means general poverty and general misery.

Leaving this noisy crowd, which gathers about us in every village that we enter, it is easy to find different specimens of Arab character, which engage our interest and compel our respect. One cannot look at these men without admiring their physique. They remind me much of our American Indians. Like them, they are indolent, unless goaded to work 22 by necessity, and find nothing so pleasant as to sit idly in the sun. But when they stand up they have an attitude as erect as any Indian chief, and a natural dignity, which is the badge of their race. Many a man who has but a single garment to cover him, will wrap it about him as proudly as any Spanish cavalier would toss his cloak over his shoulders, and stalk away with a bold, free stride, as if, in spite of centuries of humiliation, he were still the untamed lord of the desert. Their old men are most venerable in appearance. With their long beards, white turbans, and flowing garments, they might stand for the picture of Old Testament patriarchs. The women too (who do not cover their faces as much as those in lower Egypt), though coarsely and meanly dressed, yet as they walk with their water-jars on their heads, stand more erect than the fashionable ladies of our cities. I see them every day coming to fill their "pitchers" precisely as Rebecca and Rachel came three thousand years ago, and if I should approach one, saying, Give me to drink, (which I might well do, for the water of the Nile—though containing so much sediment, that it needs to be filtered—is as soft and sweet as that of our own Croton), she would let down her jar from her head just as Rebecca let down her jar for the servant of Abraham, when he came to ask her in marriage for his master's son Isaac.

The children too, though often naked, and if clothed at all, always in rags, yet have fine olive complexions, and dazzling teeth, and those bright eyes which are the sign of a degree of native intelligence.

Nor can I refuse to say a word for the poor donkey-boy. Many years ago a Scotchman in the Cape Colony, South Africa, who was accustomed to make long journeys in the bush, wrote a little poem, depicting the joys of that solitary life, which began,

"Afar in the desert I love to ride,

With the silent bush-boy by my side."


The donkey-boy is never silent, he is always singing or calling to his donkey, urging him forward with stick and voice; yet who could wish a more patient or faithful attendant, who, though on foot, trots by your side from morning to night, the slave of your caprice, taking meekly all your rebukes, perhaps undeserved, and content at last with a pittance for his service?

So have I had a little girl as a water-carrier, running close to my saddle all day long, keeping up with the donkey's pace, and carrying a small jar of water on her head, to wash my hands and face, or assuage my thirst, thankful at last for a few piastres as her reward.

We reached Assiout, the capital of Upper Egypt, early Sunday morning, and laid up for the day. While our boat's company were preparing to go on shore to see the town, I mounted a donkey and started off to find the American Mission, which is at work among the Copts, who claim to be the descendants of the ancient Egyptians. I arrived at the chapel in time to hear a sermon and an address to the Sunday-school. As the services were in Arabic, I could not understand what was said, but I could perceive at once the earnestness of the speakers, and the close attention of the hearers. After the sermon there was a baptism. The congregation was a very respectable one both in numbers and appearance. There were perhaps two hundred present, all decently, although some were very poorly clad, and presented a striking contrast to the ragged and dirty people around them. In the quiet and orderly worship, and the songs that were sung, which were Arabic words to American tunes, there was much to make one think of home. There was nothing to distinguish the congregation except the Oriental turbans and dress, and the fact that the women sat apart from the men, separated by a screen, which shows that the seclusion of women is not confined to the Mohammedans. It is an Oriental custom, and is observed by the Copts as 24 well as the Moslems. I am told that even among Christian families here, it is not considered quite "the thing" for women to go abroad and show impertinent curiosity, and that ladies of good position, who are as intelligent as most Orientals, have never seen the Nile, but two miles distant! Such is the power of fashion even in Africa. In the church are several men of wealth, who give freely of their means, as well as use their influence, for its support. The Copts are nominal Christians, although, like most of the Christian sects of the East, they are very ignorant and very superstitious. But they have not the fanatical hatred to Christianity of the Mussulmans. They acknowledge the authority of the Bible, and are thus more open to argument and persuasion. Besides this congregation, the mission has some dozen schools in the surrounding country. In the town itself, besides the schools for the poorest children, it has a boarding-school for those of a better class, an academy which is the beginning of a college, and half a dozen young men are preparing for the ministry. The field is a very hopeful one, and I was assured that the success of the mission was limited only by the means at its disposal.

After visiting the schools, Rev. Mr. Strang accompanied me through the town. It has over twenty-five thousand inhabitants, and is the point of departure for the caravans which cross the Great Desert to Darfour and the far interior of Africa, returning laden with ivory and ostrich feathers, as in the days of King Solomon. We saw in an open square, or market-place, some hundred camels, that, as they lay wearily on the earth, looked as if they might have made the long journey over the trackless sands. Laborers were at work, with no respect for the day, for Friday is the Mohammedan Sabbath; and my friend pointed out, where a number of workmen were building a house, the "taskmaster" sitting on the top of the wall to overlook them, as in the days of the Bible. As we returned by an old portal 25 in the city walls, we found a number of long-bearded and venerable men, who were "sitting in the gate" as "elders" to administer justice. The city gate is the place of honor and of justice now, as it was thousands of years ago.

In the mountain behind the town are a great number of tombs, like those of Beni-Hassan, vast chambers hewn out of the rock ages ago for burial places. We walked along by these silent memorials of the mighty dead, to the summit, from which is one of the most beautiful views of the valley of the Nile. Below the plain is spread out for many miles, well watered like the garden of the Lord, the emerald green coming up to the very foot of the barren hills. But there it ceases instantly, giving place to the desert.

These contrasts suggest some comparisons between the scenery and the climate of Egypt, and our own country. Whoever breathes this balmy air, and looks up to this cloudless sky, must feel that the Lord of all the earth has been bountiful to Egypt. As we read of the winter storms now raging over half of Europe, we bless the more kindly skies that are over us now. But after a few weeks of this dreamy, languid life, one begins to feel the want of something else to stir his blood. He finds that nature in Egypt, like the works of man, like the temples and the pyramids, is a sublime monotony. The landscapes are all the same. There are four or five grand features, the river, the valley, the hills that enclose it, and beyond the boundless desert, and over all the burning sun and sky. These are the elements that enter into every landscape. There is no change, no variety. Look where you will, there is no vision in the distance of lofty peaks dark with pines, or white with snow, no torrents leaping down the mountain side (the silence of Egypt is one of the things that most oppress me), no brooks that run among the hills, no winding paths along their banks that invite the stranger to lose himself in their shade. I see indeed hills on either horizon, but they are barren and desolate. 26 On all this double range, for six hundred miles, there is not a single green thing—not a tree, not a shrub, not a blade of grass, not even a rock covered with moss, only a waste of sand and stone. If you climbed those hills yonder across the valley you would look off upon a boundless plain of sand that stretches to the Red Sea; while behind where we stand is the Libyan Desert, which is only an arm of the Great Sahara, that crosses almost the whole of the continent. In all this waste the valley of the Nile is the one narrow strip of fertility. And even this is parched and burnt up to the very water's edge. Hence the monotony of vegetation. There is not a forest in all Egypt, only the palm groves, which are planted like garden flowers, but no tangled wild wood, no lofty elms, no broad-spreading oaks that cast their grateful shadow on the burning plains. All that variety of nature, with which in other lands she beguiles the weary heart of man, is wanting here. It is indeed the land of the sun, and in that is at once its attraction and its terror, as the fiery orb beats down upon it, withering man and beast, and turning the earth into a desert.

Seeing this monotony of nature, and feeling this monotony of life, one begins to pine after awhile, for a return to the scenes more varied, though more wild and rugged, of his own more northern clime. We hear much of the beauty of a "cloudless sky." It is indeed a relief for a few weeks to those who escape from wintry storms, from bitter winds and blinding snow. But who would have sunshine forever? The light and warmth are better when softened and subdued by clouds that intercept the overpowering rays. But here the clouds are few, and they do not "return after the rain," for there is no rain. In Lower Egypt there is what may be called a rainy season. In the Delta, as the clouds roll up from the Mediterranean, there is sometimes a sound of abundance of rain. But in Upper Egypt it may be said that it never rains. In Assiout it has rained but three times in 27 ten years! Of course the heat is sometimes fearful. Now it is mid-winter, and the air is comparatively cool and bracing, but in midsummer it reaches 110 and 112 degrees in the shade! For days and nights together the heat is so intense that not a leaf stirs in the palm groves. Not only is there not a drop of rain—there is not a breath of air. This it is to have a "cloudless sky"! Gladly then would our friend exchange for half the year the climate of Egypt for that of America. How refreshing it would be to him to see, just for once, great masses of black clouds gathering over the Arabian Hills, to see the lightnings flash as he has seen them in his native Ohio, and to hear the thunder-peals rolling across the valley from mountain to mountain, and at last dying away on the Libyan desert.

Think of this, ye who shiver in your winter storms at home, and sigh for Egypt. Take it all in all, would you make the exchange?




In the distribution of the monuments of Egypt, it is a curious fact that the Pyramids are found almost wholly in Lower Egypt, and the great Temples in Upper Egypt. It was not till we had been a week on the Nile, that we had our first sight of the latter at Denderah. We have since spent three days at Thebes, the great centre of historical interest, and have made a regular campaign of sight-seeing, starting on excursions every morning, and thus have explored the ruins on both sides of the river—for Thebes, like many other great cities—like London and Paris—was built on two sides of a river, but one much greater than the Thames or the Seine, yet not so great but that it was spanned by a bridge (at least this is inferred from some ancient sculptures and inscriptions), over which poured a population such as pours over London Bridge to-day. The site seems made for a great capital, for here the mountains retire from the river, sweeping round in a circuit of some fifty miles, leaving a broad plain to be filled with human habitations. Here four thousand years ago was built a city greater than that on the banks of the Tigris or the Euphrates, than Nineveh or Babylon. Here was the centre of power and dominion for two continents—not only for Africa, but for Asia—to which flocked the multitudinous nations of Assyria and Arabia and Persia and the farthest East, as well as the tribes of Ethiopia—as two thousand years later all the peoples of the earth flocked to Rome. It is easy, from historical records and 29 monumental inscriptions, to form some idea of the glory of this capital of the ancient world. We can imagine the tumult and the roar of this more ancient Rome, when the chariots of mighty kings, and the tread of armies returning victorious from distant wars, thundered through her hundred gates.

Then did the kings of Egypt rear temples and palaces and statues and obelisks worthy of all that greatness. Then were built the most gigantic temples ever raised by the hand of man—as much surpassing in vastness and grandeur those reared centuries afterward by the Greeks, as the latter surpass anything by the moderns. The temples of Thebes—including Luxor and Karnac, which are parts of one city—are as much grander than the Parthenon, as the Parthenon is grander than the Madeleine at Paris, which is a feeble attempt to copy it.

We have now been a week—beginning with Denderah—studying these ruins, and may give certain general impressions. We do not attempt any detailed description, which must necessarily be inadequate, since neither words nor figures convey an idea of them, any more than they do of the Alps. What would be thought of an avenue nearly two miles long, lined with over twelve hundred colossal sphinxes? Yet such was the avenue from Luxor to Karnac—an approach worthy to lead to the temple of the gods. What can we say of a forest of columns, each twelve feet in diameter, stretching out in long colonnades; of the massive walls covered with bas-reliefs; and obelisks in single shafts of granite, of such height and weight that it is the wonder of modern engineering how they could be cut from the side of the hills, and be brought a hundred and forty miles, and erected on their firm bases.

But this temple—or rather cluster of temples and palaces—was not, like the temple of Solomon, finished in a single reign. Karnac was not the work of one man, or of one generation. 30 It was twenty-five hundred years in building, successive kings and dynasties adding to the mighty whole, which was to represent all the glory of Egypt.

The general impression of these temples—and the same is true of the Egyptian statues and sculptures—is one of grandeur rather than beauty. They seek to overpower the senses by mere size. Sometimes they overdo the matter. Thus in the temples at Karnac the columns seem to me too large and too much crowded for the best effect. Ordinary trees may be planted in a dense grove, but great, broad-spreading oaks or elms require space around them; and if these columns were a little more spaced—to use a printer's word—the architectural effect would be still grander. So in the Egyptian sculpture, everything is colossal. In the granite lions and sphinxes there is always an aspect of power in repose which is very impressive, and strikes one with awe. But in any lighter work, such as frescoes and bas-reliefs, there is a total absence of delicacy and grace. Nothing can be more stiff. They sometimes have a rude force of drawing, but beauty they have none. That was born in Greece. All the sculptures on all the temples of Egypt are not worth—except as historical monuments—the friezes of the Parthenon.

One thing else has struck me much as to the plan of these temples, viz.: that we see in them the types and models of much that has been reproduced in various forms of ecclesiastical architecture. One has but to observe with some care the construction of these vast basilicas, to see how many features of Jewish, and even of Christian and Moslem architecture, have been adopted from still older temples and an earlier religion. Thus in the temple at Edfoo there is first the vast enclosure surrounding the whole, and then within the walls an outer court open to the sky, corresponding to the Court of the Gentiles in the Temple at Jerusalem, to the Court of the Fountains leading to the Mosques, and the cloister surrounding the approaches to old abbeys and cathedrals. 31 One might find a still closer resemblance in forms of worship, in the vestments of priests, in the altars, and in the burning of incense, etc., a parallel which scholars have often traced.

And now of all this magnificence and glory of the ancient capital of Egypt, what remains? Only these vast ruins of temples and palaces. The "plain of Thebes" is still here, but deserted and silent. A few columns and statues rise above the plain to mark where the city stood, but the city itself is gone as much as the people who inhabited it four thousand years ago. A few miserable mud huts are built against the walls of mighty temples, and the ploughman drives his team over the dust of the city of a hundred gates. I saw a fellah ploughing with a cow and a camel yoked together, and a couple of half-naked Arabs raising water with their shadoof between the Memnon (the statue which was said to sing when its stony lips were touched by the rising of the sun) and its brother statue—the two great Colossi, between which ran the Royal street to Luxor. Was there ever a more complete and utter desolation? In the temple called the Rameseum once stood the largest statue that ever was known—that of Rameses the Great (the same who had a statue at Memphis, for he erected monuments to himself everywhere), cut out of a single block of granite brought from the First Cataract, and weighing nearly nine hundred tons! On this was inscribed, as Herodotus writes, who saw it twenty-three hundred years ago: "I am the king of kings: if any man wish to know how great I am, and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works!" What a comment on the emptiness of human ambition, that this colossal statue, which was to last to the end of the world, was long ago pulled down by a later conqueror, Cambyses, the Persian, and now lies on its back, with its nose knocked off, and eyes put out, and all its glory in the dust!

In studying the figures and the inscriptions on the walls 32 of temples, there are many things which throw light on the manners and customs of the ancient Egyptians. Here is a scene of hunting, or of fishing, or of feasting. Here are the different trades, which show the skill of the people in the mechanic arts, and many scenes which give us an insight into their domestic life. These have been the subjects of two learned and most interesting works by Wilkinson, which open the very interior of ancient Egypt to our modern eyes. They show a very high degree of civilization—of skill in all the useful arts, a skill fully equal in many things, and in some greatly superior, to that of our own day. Wendell Phillips, in his famous lecture on "The Lost Arts," finds many of his illustrations in ancient Egypt. I could not but think that this furnished a very effective answer to those advocates of evolution, who hold that mankind sprung from animals, and have gradually developed to their present state. How much progress have the Egyptians made in four thousand years? Here the race has gone backward, so that there is certainly no inherent tendency in our nature to advance.

But I was less interested in studying the domestic life of the ancient Egyptians, than their religious ideas. Herodotus says that the Egyptians were a very religious people, excelling all others in the honors paid to their gods; and this we can well believe, seeing the temples that they reared for their worship. But what were the gods they adored, and what sort of worship did they render, and how did all this act on the life and character of the people? Here we obtain a less exalted estimate of the ancient Egyptians. The remains which they have left, while they illustrate the greatness of the empire, which four thousand years ago had its seat in the valley of the Nile, do not give a high idea of its Religion. The land was wholly given to idolatry. The Egyptians had as many gods as the Greeks and Romans, only baser and lower, indicating baser and lower ideas. They made gods, 33 not only of the sun, moon, and stars, but of beasts and birds and reptiles—of the apis and the ibis—of the serpent and the crocodile.

At Sakkara we visited one of the most stupendous mausoleums that we have seen in Egypt—one which Herodotus described, but which for centuries was so buried by the sands of the desert that its very site was not known until brought to light by the researches of Mariette Bey, who has done so much to restore the monuments of ancient Egypt. The approach to it was by an avenue of sphinxes, which led to a vast subterranean gallery—twenty feet wide and high—and leading two thousand feet, more than a third of a mile, under the earth. This long, vaulted passage is hewn in the solid rock—out of which open on either side a series of chambers or recesses, like side chapels—each containing a sarcophagus, 15 × 8 feet. These tombs, hollowed out of the solid granite, are so huge and massive that we wonder how they ever could have been got there. Yet these great sarcophagi—fit for the burial places of a long line of kings—were not for the Pharaohs or the Ptolemies, but for the Sacred Bulls! Thirty of these sarcophagi have been found, and on the walls are tablets which record the birth, and death, and burial of each one of these sacred beasts. These were the gods of Egypt, mother of the arts, and civilizer of the earth! This great repository of dead divinities is a colossal monument, at once of the architectural skill of the ancient Egyptians, and of their degrading superstition.

This single fact is enough to answer those who would imply, if they do not quite dare to assert, that the inspiration of the Books of Moses was derived from the Egyptians. It is a favorite theory of certain writers that Moses, being brought up in Egypt, here obtained both the Law and the Religion which he gave to the Israelites. No doubt he did learn much from a country that was at that time the most civilized in the world. He was brought up in a court, and enjoyed 34 every advantage of a royal education. He was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." And it detracts not at all from his inspiration, to suppose that he may have been instructed to embody in his new and better code whatever was excellent in the older system, and had been approved by the experience of centuries. The ceremonial laws—such as those of purification—may have been adopted from the Egyptians. But these are the mere fringes of the garment of the great Lawgiver. As soon as we open the Hebrew Scriptures, we find traces of a wisdom such as the Egyptians never knew. The very first sentence—"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"—scatters the fables of Isis and Osiris, and substitutes for the troop of heathen deities the worship of One Living and True God. This single declaration marks a stupendous advance in the religious faith and worship of mankind.

The same first principle appears as the corner-stone of the law given on Mount Sinai: "I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

The second law of the first table breaks in pieces the images of the gods of the Egyptians: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, nor in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth." This was spoken to a people that had just come out of a country where they worshipped beasts and birds and reptiles, and where the walls of the temples were covered with the images of all kinds of foul and creeping things.

In this age of the world, and among civilized nations, we cannot understand the passion for idolatry. Yet it is one of the most universal and ineradicable instincts of a half barbarous people. They see tokens of an unseen power in the forces of nature, in clouds and winds, in lightning and tempest, and they torment themselves with all imaginable terrors, 35 from which they seek relief and protection in bowing down to gods of wood and stone.

The Israelites coming out of Egypt, were out of the house of bondage in one sense, but they were in it in another. They were continually relapsing into idolatry. The golden calf of Aaron was but an imitation of the sacred bulls of Egypt. Often they pined for the products of the fertile valley of the Nile. With nothing but the burning sands beneath their feet, they might well long for the shade of the palm tree and for its delicious fruit, and they said, Why hath this man Moses brought us up to die in this wilderness? It required forty years of wandering, and that a whole generation should leave their bones to whiten the sands of the desert, before their children could be wholly alienated from the worship of false gods. So not only with the Israelites, but with all nations of men, ages of fiery discipline have been necessary to bring back the race to this first article of our faith: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth."

We might follow the comparison through all the tables of the law, to show how absurd is the pretence that what Moses taught to the Israelites he first learned from the Egyptians. Tell us, ye learned antiquaries, where on all these temples, and in all the records which they have left us, is there any trace of the Ten Commandments?

And yet Egypt is connected very intimately, in history at least, with the birth of our religion. No other country, except Palestine, figures so largely in the Bible. Abraham went down into Egypt. Here came the sons of Jacob to buy corn, and found Joseph ruling in the house of Pharaoh. And hither centuries later fled the virgin mother with her child from the wrath of Herod, fulfilling the prediction, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."

But Religion—the Divine wisdom which at once instructs and saves mankind—came not from the valley of the Nile. 36 Abraham and Jacob and Moses saw the Pyramids standing just as we see them now, but they did not point them to the true God. That knowledge came from a higher source. "History," says Bunsen, "was born on that night when Moses, with the law of God in his heart, led the people of Israel out of Egypt." And not History only, but Religion then came to a new birth, that was to be the herald of new and better hopes, and of a higher civilization than was known to the ancient world.




The valley of the Nile is one vast sepulchre. Tombs and temples! Temples and tombs! This is the sum of the monuments which ancient Egypt has left us. Probably no equal portion of the earth's surface was ever so populous, at once with the living and the dead. It is but a narrow strip of territory—a line of green between two deserts; and yet on this mere ribbon of Africa lived the millions that made one of the most populous and powerful of ancient empires. They were fed by the marvellous fertility of the Nile valley, till they stood upon it almost as thick as the ranks of corn that waved around them: and here, when life was ended, they found a resting-place in the bosom of the earth that nourished them, on which they slept as children on a mother's breast. This strip of earth, long and narrow like a grave, has been the sepulchre of nations. Here the myriads of Egypt's ancient reigns—from the time of Menes—through the long line of the Pharaohs and Ptolemies—the generations that built the Pyramids and those that came after—laid themselves down to sleep in the great valley. Thus the very dust of Egypt was made up of the dust of ancient Egyptians.

But this was only the lot of the common people, to mingle their dust with common clay—their tomb the common earth, their end to be exhaled into the common air, or to reappear in other natural forms, living in plants, blooming in flowers, or in broad-leaved palms, casting a shadow on the earth from 38 which they sprung. But for her great ones, more enduring monuments were reared to guard their dust and perpetuate their names. No people, ancient or modern, ever lavished so much on these sacred and pious memorials. They expended more on the tombs of the dead than on the houses of the living, for they reasoned that the latter were but temporary dwellings, while the former were everlasting habitations. The kings of Egypt cared more for great tombs than great palaces, and they reared such mausoleums as the earth never saw before. The Pyramids were their tombs, and the mountains were hollowed into royal sepulchres. The rock tombs of Beni-Hassan are cut in the side of the hills. The barren mountain that looks off upon the great Libyan desert, is honeycombed with vast and silent halls of the dead. At Thebes the traveller, ascending from the Nile, winds his way among hills of sand into a valley of desolation. The summits around are not covered with pines like our own darkly wooded hills, nor do even the rocks gather moss—but all is bare and desolate. The desert has overflowed the earth like a sea, and not a shrub nor a blade of grass has survived the universal deluge. Yet here where not a living thing can be found, has been discovered underground the most remarkable series of tombs which exists. A whole mountain is pierced with deep excavations. Passages open into its rocky sides, running many hundred feet into the bowels of the earth, and branching off into recesses like side chapels. These Halls of Death are like kings' palaces, with stately chambers broad and high, whose sides and ceilings are covered with hieroglyphics and illustrative symbols.

A fact so remarkable as this, that the architecture of a great empire which has built the most colossal structures in the world, has this tomblike character, must have a meaning. The Egyptians were a very religious people. They were not a gay and thoughtless race, like some of their Asiatic and European neighbors. There is something grave even in their 39 faces, as seen in ancient statues and monuments. Their very architecture had this heavy and solemn character. These colossal temples, these silent sphinxes, seem oppressed with some great mystery which they cannot reveal. These tombs show that the Egyptian mind was full of the idea of death, and of another life. The Egyptians were not Atheists, nor Sadducees. They believed devoutly in God, and in a life to come.

How strongly the idea of another life had taken hold of the Egyptian mind is evident from the symbols in their religion. The symbol most frequently employed is that of the scarabæus—or beetle—the image of which appears everywhere, which by analogy teaches that life, in passing through death, may be born to a new life. The beetle lays its eggs in the slime of the Nile; it buries them in mud, which it works into a ball, and rolls over and over, back to the edge of the desert, and buries in sand. There its work is ended: nature does the rest. Out of this grave comes in time a resurrection, and life is born of death. The ostrich eggs hung up in mosques, have the same symbolical meaning. The ostrich buries its eggs in the sand, and nature, that kind mother which watches over all life, gives them being. Thus is conveyed the same idea as in the analogy of the chrysalis and the butterfly.

Studying the religious faith of the Egyptians a little more closely, we see that they believed not only in the immortality of the soul, but in the resurrection of the body. The doctrine taught by Paul, was long before taught by the priests of Egypt. Their tombs were not merely memorials of those who had ceased to live, but resting-places for the bodies of those whose spirits were absent but would some day return. For this, bodies were embalmed with religious care; they were buried in tombs hewn out of the solid rock, laid away in Pyramids, or in caverns hollowed out of the heart of the mountains. There, embedded in the eternal rocks, locked up with the bars of the everlasting hills, it seemed that their 40 remains would rest secure till the morning of the resurrection day.

Further, they believed not only in immortality and in resurrection, but also in retribution. The soul that was to pass into another life, was to go into it to be judged. There it was to be called to account for the deeds done in the body. Even the funeral rites indicated how strong was the belief of a judgment to come for all who departed this life. After the bodies were embalmed, they were borne in solemn procession to the Nile (most of the tombs being on the western bank), or to a sacred lake, across which they were to be ferried. (Did not this suggest to later Roman mythologists the river Styx, and the boatman Charon who conveyed departed souls to the gloomy shades of Pluto?) As the funeral procession arrived at the borders of the lake, it paused till certain questions were answered, on which it depended whether the dead might receive burial: or should be condemned to wander in darkness three thousand years. If it passed this ordeal, it moved forward, not to its everlasting repose, but to the Hall of Judgment, where Osiris sits upon his throne as the judge of all mankind. This scene is constantly represented in sculptures, in bas-reliefs, and in frescoes on the walls of tombs. In one of them a condemned wretch is driven away in the shape of a pig! (Was it here that Pythagoras, who studied in Egypt, obtained his doctrine of the transmigration of souls?) Before Osiris is the scribe, the recording angel, who keeps a faithful record of the deeds done in the body. A long line of judges—forty-two in number—sit arrayed as the final arbiters of his fate—each with his question, on the answer to which may depend the destiny of the departed soul.

The "Book of the Dead" (copies of which are still found wrapped up with mummies: several are in the British Museum) gives the answers to be made to these searching questions, and also the prayers to be offered, and the hymns that 41 are to be sung, as the soul enters the gloomy shades of the under-world.

In this Egyptian doctrine of a future life there are Christian ideas. Some indeed will say that Egypt gave rather than received; that she was the mother of all learning and all wisdom in the ancient world; that the Greeks obtained their philosophy from her (for Plato as well as Pythagoras studied in Egypt); that the Eleusinian mysteries came from Africa; that Moses here found what he taught the Hebrews; and that even the Christian mysteries and the Christian faith came from the banks of the Nile.

There is certainly much food for reflection in this reappearance of certain religious ideas in different countries and under different forms. But there is a contrast as well as a resemblance. While the Hebrews learned so much from the Egyptians, it is very remarkable that they did not imbibe that strong faith in the reality of the invisible world, which lies at the foundation of religion. One would suppose that the Israelites, coming out of Egypt, would be full of these thoughts, and of the hopes and fears of a life to come. Yet in all the books of Moses, rarely, if ever, are these motives addressed to the Hebrews. The German critics argue from this that the Hebrews did not believe in another life. The late Dr. Edward Robinson, the distinguished Hebrew scholar, said that he could not find that doctrine in the Old Testament. Without admitting such an extreme view, it is certainly remarkable that that idea is much less prominent in the Old Testament than in the New. It is not Moses, but Christ who has brought life and immortality to light.

But the Egyptian doctrine of a future life, while very curious and interesting as a study of ancient belief, is utterly unsatisfying. The ideas are detached and fragmentary, and wholly without evidence or authority; they are merely the crude fancies of mythology, and not the precise teachings of Revelation. And so in all the tombs and temples of Egypt 42 there is nothing which can relieve the doubts of a troubled mind, or the sorrows of a heavy heart.

I have had some sober thoughts while floating on the bosom of the Nile. We cannot but see the world through our own eyes and through our moods of mind. To those who have left their dead beyond the sea, foreign travel has many sad and lonely hours. The world seems cold and empty, and even the most religious mind is apt to be haunted with gloomy thoughts. This is not a mood of mind peculiar to atheists and unbelievers. Many devout men, in seasons of mental depression, are tortured with doubts whether, after all, their religious faith is not a delusion and a dream.

And so many dark and bitter questionings come to me here in this land of sepulchres. I have come to Egypt to learn something of the wisdom of the Egyptians. Tell me then, ye tombs and temples and pyramids, about God; tell me about the life to come! But the Pyramids speak not; and the Sphinx still looks towards the East, to watch for the rising sun, but is voiceless and mute. This valley of the Nile speaks of nothing but death. From end to end its rock-ribbed hills are filled with tombs. Yet what do they all teach the anxious and troubled heart of man? Nothing! All these hills are silent. Not a sound, or even an echo, comes from these dark sepulchres. No voice of hope issues out of the caverns hollowed in the bosom of the hills. The hard granite of the tombs itself is not more deaf to the cry of human anguish, or the voice of supplication.

I turn from the monuments of man to nature. I stand on the bank of the Great River, and ask if it brings not some secret out of the heart of Africa? Tell me, ye night winds, blowing from African deserts; tell me, ye stars shining in the African heaven (this sky of Egypt is so pure and clear that the stars seem higher and more distant from this lower world), what light can ye throw on this great mystery of death? And the stars twinkle, but speak not, and the palm trees 43 quiver in the night wind, but give no answer; and the great Nile flows on silently to the sea, as life flows on to eternity. Nature is dumb; the great secret is not revealed.

For the revelation of that secret we turn not to Egypt, but to Jerusalem. While the Egyptians groped darkly after the truth, how do these dim shadows, these poor emblems and analogies, set forth by contrast the clearer and better truth of revelation! All that is written on the tombs of Egypt; all that is carved in stone, or written in hieroglyphics on ancient sarcophagi; all that is built in temples and pyramids; is not worth that one saying of our Lord, "I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

We spent Christmas day at Thebes, where a number of English boats had drawn up to the landing to keep the day, so dear to the hearts of Englishmen throughout the world. On Christmas eve they were decorated with palm branches, and at night were lighted up with Chinese lanterns, while row-boats were floating about, the Arab boatmen singing their wild, plaintive melodies.

Christmas brought a scene, if not so picturesque, yet far more sweet and tender. It had been our good fortune to meet there Rev. Dr. Potter of New York, the rector of Grace Church. He was going up the Nile with Miss Wolfe, of Madison square. They were on two dahabeeahs, but kept company, and anchored every night together. On Christmas day there was a service on board Miss Wolfe's boat, which was attended by all the English parties. It was held on the upper deck, which was spread with carpets and covered with an awning on the top and sides to protect us from the sun. Whether it was the strange scene, occurring in a distant part of the world, or sad memories which were recalled by these anniversary days, seldom has a service touched me more. It was very sweet to hear the old, old prayers—some of them almost as old as Christianity itself—to which we had so often 44 listened in other lands, and to join with the little company in the Christmas hymn:

"Hark! the herald angels sing,

Glory to the new-born King;

Peace on earth and mercy mild;

God and man are reconciled."

Dr. Potter read the service in his clear, rich voice, following it with a sermon which was quite extempore and brief, but so simple and so appropriate to the day that it went to every heart. And when at the close was celebrated the communion, we all felt how pleasant it was in such a place, so far from home, in a country surrounded by the ruins of the temples of old idolatries, to join in the worship of Him who on this day was born to be the Light and the Hope of the world. Better is this than all that Egypt can teach us about a life to come.

And so we turn from these great temples and tombs, which only mock our hopes, to Him who has passed through the grave, and lighted the way for us to follow Him. Let scholars dispute the first intent of the words, yet nothing in the Old Testament or the New, more distinctly expresses what I rest upon than this: "I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God!"




In a review of the faiths of Egypt, one cannot overlook that which has ruled in the land for more than a thousand years, and still rules, not only in Egypt, but over a large part of Asia and Africa. We arrived in Cairo a few days too late to witness the departure of the pilgrims for Mecca. Once in the year there is a gathering of the faithful for a journey which is the event of their lives. The spectacle is one of the most picturesque in the East, as a long procession, mounted on camels, many of which are richly caparisoned, files through the streets of the city, amid the admiring gaze of the whole population, and takes the way of the desert. Slowly it moves Eastward to the Red Sea, and passing around it, turns South to the heart of the Arabian Peninsula.

A caravan of pilgrims crossing the desert to visit the birthplace of the prophet, is a proof that religious enthusiasm still lives even in this unbelieving age. Perhaps the Moslem spirit is not so bigoted here as at Constantinople. The Turk, with his heavy stolid nature, is a more obstinate religionist than the Arab. And yet Mohammed was not a Turk; he was an Arab, and the faith which he taught still fires the heart of his race.

In one view Cairo may be considered the capital of Islam, as it is the seat of the great University, from which its priests go forth to all parts of the Mohammedan world. This University is nine hundred years old—older than Oxford, and still flourishes with as much vigor as in the palmy 46 days of the Arabian conquest. A visit to it is the most interesting sight in Cairo. There I saw collected together—not one hundred or two hundred students, such as are found in our Theological Seminaries in America—but ten thousand! As one expressed it, "there were two acres of turbans," assembled in a vast inclosure, with no floor but a pavement, and with a roof over it, supported by four hundred columns, and at the foot of every column a teacher, surrounded by pupils, who sat at his feet precisely as Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel. As we entered there rose a hum of thousands of voices, reciting the Koran. These students are not only from Egypt, but from all parts of Africa, from Morocco to Zanzibar. They come from far up the Nile, from Nubia and Soudan; and from Darfour beyond the Great Desert, and from the western coast of Africa. Asia too is largely represented in students both from Western Asia, from Turkey, Arabia, and Persia; and from Central Asia, from Khiva and Bokhara, and Turkistan and Afghanistan, and the borders of China. They come without staff or scrip. There is no endowment to support them; no Students' Fund or Education Board. They live on the charities of the faithful, and when their studies are ended, those who are to be missionaries on this continent mount their camels, and joining a caravan, cross the Desert, and are lost in the far interior of Africa.

This strange sight has set me a-thinking, and the more I think, the more the wonder grows. A religion that supports great universities from generation to generation; and that sends forth caravans, that are like armies, on long pilgrimages, is not dead; it is full of life, and can bring into the field tremendous forces to uphold its empire in the East. What is the secret of its power, by which it lives on from century to century, and seems as if it could not but by annihilating die? There is no question of more interest to the historical student; and no one which it is more necessary to 47 understand in order to form some just idea of the great Eastern War which is already looming above the horizon. A full recognition of that which is good in Islam, and of that which gives it power, would prevent many mistakes in forecasting the future, although it might abate the sanguine confidence of our missionary friends in the speedy triumph of Christianity over its hereditary foe.

First of all, we must recognize the fact of its existence as one of the great religions of the world. The number of its adherents is variously estimated at from a hundred and fifty to a hundred and eighty millions. It holds but a corner of Europe, but extends its empire over a large part of Asia and Africa. The whole of Africa which is not Pagan, is Moslem. In Asia Islam disputes the sway of Hindooism in India, where the Queen has more Moslem subjects than the Sultan himself, and of Buddhism in the islands of the Malayan Archipelago. Over so large a part of the earth's surface is extended the wide dominion of the Prophet. His followers number one-tenth, perhaps one-eighth, or even one-sixth part of the human race.

Nor is this dominion a merely nominal thing. On the contrary, the true believers are strong believers. It may well be doubted, whether among the nations nominally Christian the mass of the people really believe with half the firmness and the fervor of Mussulmans. The Moslems are as sincere, and in their way as devout, as the adherents of any religion on the face of the globe. No one can enter the mosque of St. Sophia, and see the worshippers turning their faces towards Mecca, not only kneeling but prostrating themselves, touching the pavement with their foreheads, and repeating, in a low, mournful tone, passages from the Koran, without feeling that these men really believe. Those prostrate forms, those wailing voices, are not the signs of hypocrisy, but of a faith that, however mistaken, is at least sincere. In their own minds they are in the presence of the Highest, 48 and offer worship to the unseen God. Indeed they are more than believers, they are zealots, carrying their faith to fanaticism. A body so vast in number, composed of such fierce religionists, is certainly a great power in the political and military, as well as religious, forces, that are yet to contend for the mastery of the Eastern world.

Nor is this power inactive in spreading its faith; it is full of missionary zeal. Max Müller divides all the religions of the world into proselytizing and non-proselytizing. Mohammedanism belongs to the former class as much as Christianity. The days are past when the followers of the Prophet swept over large parts of Asia and Africa, converting tribes and nations by the sword. And yet even at the present day it keeps up a Propaganda as vigorous as that of the Catholics at Rome. Its university here is training ten thousand young apostles. Moslem missionaries preach the Koran, and make proselytes, in all parts of India. But the chief field of their labors is in Africa, where they have penetrated far into the interior, and converted numerous tribes to the faith. It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics in regard to the spread of Islam in Africa. Livingstone thought the reports greatly exaggerated. That is quite possible, and yet, making every allowance, there can be no doubt that it has obtained a success much greater than that of Christian missions.

A religion which has such a foundation on the solid earth, holding nations and empires in its wide dominion; and which has such a history, stretching over twelve centuries; is a subject worthy the closest attention of scholars. Its history is not unlike that of Christianity itself, in the feebleness of its beginning and the greatness of its results. It started in an obscure corner of the world—in the deserts of Arabia—and rapidly conquered the East, overrunning all the adjacent parts of Asia and Africa, and extending along the Mediterranean to the Straits of Gibraltar, and thence crossed into Spain, where it maintained itself for eight hundred years 49 against all the power of Europe to expel it. Such conquests show a prodigious vitality—a vitality not yet exhausted, as it still holds the half of Asia and Africa. A faith which commands the allegiance of so large a part of mankind must have some elements of truth to give it such tremendous power. Perhaps we can find the key in the character of its Founder, and in the faith which he taught.

A great deal has been written about the life of Mohammed, but even yet his character is imperfectly understood. Perhaps we cannot fully understand it, for there are in it contradictions which perplex the most patient and candid student. By many he is dismissed at once as a vulgar impostor, a sort of Joe Smith, who invented monstrous lies, and by stoutly sticking to them got others to believe in them, and as soon as he rallied a few followers about him, compelled neighboring tribes to accept his faith by the unsparing use of the sword.

This is an easy way to get rid of a difficult historical question, but unfortunately it does not explain the facts. It is by that sort of cheap reasoning that Gibbon undertakes to explain the rapid spread of Christianity. But if Mohammed had been a cunning impostor, his first claim would have been to work miracles, which on the contrary he never claimed at all, but distinctly repudiated. Nor was he a greedy mercenary; he was a poor man; his followers relate with pride how he mended his own clothes, and even pegged his own shoes. But he combined every element of the visionary and the enthusiast. He had that vivid imagination that conceives strongly of things invisible to the natural sense, to which "things that are not become as things that are," and that ardent temperament that kindles at the sight of these unseen realities. Perhaps this temperament was connected with his bodily constitution; from his youth he was subject to epileptic fits, and his revelations were accompanied with convulsions. Such things are found in other religions. They are 50 quite common in the history of devout and passionate Romanists. Nor are they unknown even among Protestants, who profess to be more sober and rational. Among the Methodists, at camp-meetings, a very frequent effect of religious emotion has been that strong men were so prostrated that they fell to the ground and became as dead, and when they recovered, retained impressions never to be effaced, as if they had seen things which it was not lawful to utter. The revelations of Mohammed were all accompanied by these "physical manifestations." Sometimes the angel spoke to him as one man to another; at other times something within his bosom sounded like a bell, which he said "rent him in pieces." At such times he fell to the ground and foamed at the mouth, or his eyes turned red, and he streamed with perspiration, and roared like a camel, in his struggle to give utterance to the revelation of God. This does not look like imposture, but like insanity. The constitution of such a man is a psychological study.

This natural ardor was inflamed by long seclusion. From his youth he loved solitude. Like the old prophets, he withdrew from the world to be alone with God. Like Elijah, he hid himself in a cave. Every year, during the month of Ramadan, he retired to a cave in Mount Hera, three miles from Mecca, to give himself up to religious contemplation; and there, it is said, amid spasmodic convulsions, he had his first vision, in which the angel Gabriel appeared to him.

This explanation of a mind half disordered, subject to dreams and visions and fanatical illusions, is much more rational than that of supposing in him an artful design to impose a new religion on his countrymen. Like other enthusiasts, he became the victim of his own illusions. His imagination so wrought upon him that he came to accept his visions as Divine revelations. In this he was not playing a part; he was not the conscious hypocrite. No doubt he believed himself what he wished others to believe. Indeed 51 he made them believe, by the very sincerity and intensity of his own convictions.

Mohammedanism may be considered as a system of theology, and as a system of morality. The former seems to have been derived largely from Judaism. Mohammed belonged to the tribe of the Koreishites, who claimed to be descended from Abraham through Ishmael. His family were the keepers of the Caaba, or holy place of Mecca, where is the black stone which was brought from heaven, and the spring Zemzem, which sprang up in the desert to save the life of Hagar and her child. Thus he was familiar from his earliest years with the traditions of the patriarchs.

When a boy of fourteen he made a journey with his uncle into Syria, where he may have learned more of the ancient faith. Much is said of his becoming acquainted with a Nestorian bishop or monk, from whom he is supposed to have learned something of Christianity. But he could not have learned much, for his views of it were always extremely vague. It is doubtful whether he ever saw the New Testament, or had any knowledge of it other than that derived from some apocryphal books. There is no trace in the Koran of the sublime doctrines of the Gospel, or even of its moral precepts. Although Mohammed professed great reverence for Jesus, whom with Moses he considers the greatest of prophets next to himself, yet his ideas of the Religion which He taught were of the most indefinite kind.

But one thing he did learn, which was common to Judaism and Christianity—that there is but one God. The Monotheism of the Hebrews took the stronger hold of him, from its contrast to the worship around him, which had degenerated into gross idolatry. The tribes of Arabia had become as base idolaters as the Canaanites. Even the holy Caaba was filled with idols, and the mission of the prophet—as he regarded it—was to restore the worship of the One Living and True God. His first burst of prophetic fire and prophetic wrath 52 was a fierce explosion against idolatry, and it was a moment of triumph when he was able to walk through the Caaba, and see the idols dashed in pieces.

Here then is the first and last truth of Islam, the existence of one God. The whole is comprehended in this one saying, "God is God, and Mohammed is his prophet."

With the homage due to God, is the respect due to His revealed will. Moslems claim for the Koran what many Christians do not claim for the Bible—a literal and verbal inspiration. Every word is Divine.

And not only is the unity of God the cardinal truth, but it is vital to salvation. In this respect Islam is a Religion. It is not a mere philosophy, the acceptance or rejection of which is a matter of indifference. It is not merely a system of good morals—it is a Divine code for the government of mankind, whose acceptance is a matter of life and death—of salvation or damnation.

The doctrine of retribution is held by the Moslems in its most rigid form—more rigid indeed than in the Christian system: for there is no atonement for sin. The judgment is inexorable; it is absolute and eternal. Before their eyes ever stands the Day of Judgment—the Dies Iræ—when all men shall appear before God to receive their doom.

But in that last day, when unbelievers shall be destroyed, the followers of the prophet shall be saved. They can go to the tribunal of their Maker without trembling. One day riding outside the walls of Constantinople, we approached a cemetery just as a funeral procession drew near, bearing the form of the dead. We stopped to witness the scene. The mourners gathered around the place where the body was laid, and then the ulema approached the grave, and began an address to the dead, telling her (it was a woman) not to be afraid when the angel came to call her to judgment, but to appear before the bar of the Almighty, and answer without fear, for that no follower of the prophet should perish. 53

The religious observances of the Moslems are very strict. As God is the sole object of worship, so the great act of Religion is communion with Him. Five times a day the voice of the muezzin calls them to prayer. The frequent ablutions were perhaps derived from the Jewish law. Fasting is imposed with a severity almost unknown in the Christian world. The most rigid Catholics hardly observe the forty days of Lent as the Moslems do the month of Ramadan. Almsgiving is not only recommended, but required. Every true believer is commanded to give one-tenth of his income to charity.

As to the moral results of Mohammedanism, it produces some excellent effects. It inculcates the strictest temperance. The Koran prohibits the use of wine, even though wine is one of the chief products of the East. In this virtue of total abstinence the Moslems are an example to Christians.

So in point of integrity; the honesty of the Turk is a proverb in the East, compared with the lying of Christians. Perhaps this comes in part not only from his religion, but from the fact that he belongs to the conquering race. Tyrants and masters do not need to deceive, while falsehood and deceit are the protection of slaves. Subject races, which have no defence before the law, or from cruel masters, seek it in subterfuge and deception. But this claim of integrity may be pushed too far. However it may be in Asia Minor, among simple-minded Turks, who have not been "spoiled by coming in contact with Christians," those who have to do with Turks in the bazaars of Constantinople, are compelled to confess, that if they do not tell lies, they tell very big truths. However, as between the Turk and the Greek, in point of honesty, it is quite possible that those who know them both would give the preëminence to the former.

Whatever the weakness of Mohammedanism, it does not 54 show itself in that sort of vices. His very pride makes the Mussulman scorn these meaner sins. His religion, as it lifts him up with self-esteem, produces an effect on his outward bearing. He has an air of independence which is unmistakable. I think I never saw a Mussulman that was afraid to look me in the face. He has none of the sneaking servility that we see in some races. This is a natural consequence of his creed, according to which God is so great that no man is great in his sight. Islam is at once a theocracy and a democracy. God is sole Lawgiver and King, before whom all men stand on the same level. Hence men of all nations and races fraternize together. In Constantinople blacks and whites, the men of Circassia and the men of Ethiopia, walk arm in arm, and stand on the level of absolute equality.

This democratic spirit is carried everywhere. There is no caste in Islam, not even in India, where it is at perpetual war with the castes of Hindooism. So as it spreads in the interior of Africa, it raises the native tribes to a degree of manliness and self-respect which they had not known before. It "levels up" the African race. Our missionaries in Liberia, who come in contact with certain Moslem tribes from the interior, such as the Mandingoes, will testify that they are greatly superior to those farther South, on the Gold Coast, the Ashantees and the people of Dahomey, who have filled the world with horror by their human sacrifices. All this disappears before the advance of Islam. It breaks in pieces the idols; it destroys devil worship and fetichism and witchcraft, and puts an end to human sacrifices. Thus it renders a service to humanity and civilization.

So far Islam is a pretty good religion—not so good indeed as Christianity, but better than any form of Paganism. It has many elements of truth, derived chiefly from Judaism. So far as Mohammed followed Moses—so far as the Koran followed the Old Testament—they uttered only the truth, 55 and truth which was fundamental. The unity of God is the foundation of religion. It is not only a truth, but the greatest of truths, the first condition of any right religious worship. In declaring this, Mohammed only proclaimed to the Arabs what Moses had proclaimed to the Hebrews: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." But he repeated it with great vehemence and effect, wielding it as a battle-axe to break in pieces the idols of the heathen. And so far—as against idolatry—Islam has served a great purpose in history. But there its utility ends. It teaches indeed that there is but one God. But what a God is that which it presents to our worship! "This God is not our God." The Mohammedan idea of God is very different from the Christian idea of a Father in heaven. It is the idea of the Awful, the Invisible—grand indeed, yet cold and distant and far away, like the stars on the desert, or in the Arctic night, "wildly, spiritually bright," shining with a glittering splendor, but lofty and inaccessible, beyond the cries of human agony or despair. This view of God is so limited and partial as to produce the effect of positive error. In a just religious system there must be included the two ideas of God and man; and these in their proper relation to each other. Exclusive contemplation of either leads astray. When man fastens on the idea of one God, he plants himself on a rock. But he must not bow himself upon the rock, and clasp it so as to forget his own separate individuality, lest the mighty stone roll over upon him and crush him. This the Mussulman does. He dwells so on the idea of God, that his own existence is not only lost sight of, but annihilated. The mind, subdued in awe, is at length overpowered by what it beholds. Man is nothing in that awful presence, as his life is but a point in the Divine eternity.

It cannot be denied that the idea of God, and God alone, may produce some grand effects on human character. It inspires courage. If God be for us, who can be against us? 56 That God is for him, the Mussulman never doubts; and this confidence inspires him in danger, and on the field of battle, so that he fights with desperation. But if the fortune of war be against him, who so well as the devout Mussulman knows how to suffer and to die? He murmurs not; but bows his head, saying "God is great," and submits to his fate. Thus his creed carried out to its logical consequence ends in fatalism. He believes so absolutely in God, that the decrees of the Almighty become a fixed fate, which the will of man is impotent to resist. All this comes from an imperfect idea of God. Here Islam is defective, just where Christianity is complete.

There is nothing in Mohammedanism that brings God down to earth, within the range of human sympathy or even of human conception. There is no incarnation, no Son of God coming to dwell among men, hungry and weary, bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows, suffering in the garden, and dying on the cross.

The Mussulman does not feel his need of such help. In his prayers there is no acknowledgment of sin, no feeling of penitence, no confession of unworthiness. He knows not how poor and weak he is, with a religion in which there is no Saviour and Redeemer, no Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, no Holy Spirit to help our infirmities, to strengthen our weaknesses.

So with Moslem morality; if we scan it closely, we find it wanting in many virtues. Some writers give the most elevated ideas of it. Says Chambers' Cyclopædia: "Aside from the domestic relations, the ethics of the Mohammedan religion are of the highest order. Pride, calumny, revenge, avarice, prodigality, and debauchery, are condemned throughout the Koran; while trust in God, submission to His will, patience, modesty, forbearance, love of peace, sincerity, frugality, benevolence, liberality, are everywhere insisted upon."

This is very high praise. But mark the exception: 57 "Aside from the domestic relations." That exception takes out of the system a whole class of virtues, and puts a class of vices in their place. Here is the great crime of Islam against humanity—its treatment of woman. We will not charge against it more than belongs to it. The seclusion of woman is not a Mohammedan custom so much as an Oriental one, and one of a very ancient date. When Abraham sent a servant to find a wife for Isaac, and he returned bringing Rebekah, as the caravan drew near home, and Isaac went out to meditate at eventide, as soon as Rebekah saw him in the distance, she lighted off from her camel and "veiled herself." Polygamy too existed before Mohammed: it existed among the patriarchs. It is claimed that Mohammed repressed it, limiting a man to four wives, although he far exceeded the number himself. Gibbon, who never misses an opportunity of making a point against the Bible, says: "If we remember the seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines of the wise Solomon, we shall applaud the modesty of the Arabian who espoused no more than seventeen or fifteen wives." But this pretence of self-restraint is a mockery. It is notorious that Mohammed was a man of the grossest licentiousness; and the horrible and disgusting thing about it is that he grew more wicked as he grew older; and while trying to put restraint upon others put none upon himself. He punished licentiousness with a hundred stripes, and adultery with death, and yet he was a man of unbounded profligacy, and to make it worse, pleaded a Divine revelation to justify it!

This example of the prophet has had its influence on all the generations of his followers. It has trailed the slime of the serpent over them all. Any one who has been in a Mohammedan country must have felt that the position of woman is a degradation. One cannot see them gliding through the streets of Cairo or Constantinople, with their faces veiled as if it were a shame to look on them, and passing swiftly 58 as if indeed it were a sin for them to be seen abroad, without a feeling of pity and indignation.

And in what a position are such women at home, if it can be called a home, where there is no family, no true domestic life! The wife of a Mohammedan—the mother of his children—is little better than a slave. She is never presented to his friends—indeed you could not offer a greater insult to a Turk than to ask after his wife! Of course there is no such thing as society where women are not allowed to appear. Such a society as that of London or Paris, composed of men eminent in government, in science and literature—a society refined and elevated by the presence of women of such education and manners and knowledge of the world as to be the fit companions of such men—could not possibly exist in Constantinople.

But the degradation of woman is not the only crime to be charged to Islam. In fit companionship with it is cruelty. Mohammed had many virtues, but he had no mercy. He was implacable toward his enemies. He massacred his prisoners, not from hard necessity, but with a fierce delight. Fanaticism extinguished natural compassion, and he put his enemies to death with savage joy. In this his followers have "bettered his instructions." The Turks are cruel, perhaps partly by nature, but partly also because any tender sympathies of nature are kept down by a fiery zeal. Their religion does not make them merciful. When a people have become possessed with the idea that they are the people of God, and that others are outcasts, they become insensible to the sufferings of those outside of the consecrated pale.

In the Greek Revolution the people of Scio joined in the rebellion. A Turkish army landed on the island, and in two months put 23,000 of the inhabitants to the sword, without distinction of age or sex; 47,000 were sold into slavery, and 5,000 escaped to Greece. In four months the Christian population was reduced from 104,000 to 2,000. 59

What the Turks are in Europe and Asia, the Arabs are in Africa. The spread of Mohammedanism is a partial civilization of some heathen tribes. But, alas, the poor natives come in contact with "civilization" and "religion" in another way—in the Arab slave-hunters, who, though they are Mohammedans, and devoutly pray toward Mecca, are the most merciless of human beings. One cannot read the pages of Livingstone without a shudder at the barbarities practised on defenceless natives, which have spread terror and desolation over a large part of the interior of Africa.

These cruel memories rise up to spoil the poetry and romance which some modern writers have thrown about the religion of the prophet. They disturb my musings, when awed or touched by some features of Moslem faith; when I listen to the worship in St. Sophia, or witness the departure of pilgrims for Mecca. Whatever Oriental pomp or splendor may still survive in its ancient worship, at its heart the system is cold, and hard, and cruel; it does not acknowledge the brotherhood of man, but exalts the followers of the prophet into a caste, who can look down on the rest of mankind with ineffable scorn. Outside of that pale, man is not a brother, but an enemy—an enemy not to be won by love, but to be conquered and subdued, to be made a convert or a slave. Not only does the Koran not bid mercy to be shown to unbelievers, but it offers them, as the only alternatives, conversion, or slavery, or death.

Needs it any argument to show how impossible is good government under a creed in which there is no recognition of justice and equality? I think it is Macaulay who says that the worst Christian government is better than the best Mohammedan government. Wherever that religion exists, there follow inevitably despotism and slavery, by which it crushes man, as by its polygamy and organized licentiousness, it degrades and crushes woman. Polygamy, despotism, and slavery form the trinity of woes which Mohammedanism has 60 caused to weigh for ages, like a nightmare, on the whole Eastern world. Such a system is as incompatible with civilization as with Christianity, and sooner or later must pass away, unless the human race is to come to a standstill, or to go backward.

But when and how? I am not sanguine of any speedy change. Such changes come slowly. We expect too much and too soon. In an age of progress we think that all forms of ignorance and superstition must disappear before the advance of civilization. But the vis inertiæ opposes a steady resistance. It has been well said, "We are told that knowledge is power, but who has considered the power of ignorance?" How long it lives and how hard it dies! We hear much of the "waning crescent," but it wanes very slowly, and it sometimes seems as if the earth itself would grow old and perish before that waning orb would disappear from the heavens. Christian Missions make no more impression upon Islam than the winds of the desert upon the cliffs of Mount Sinai.

I do not look for any great change in the Mohammedan world, except in the train of political changes. That religion is so bound up with political power, that until that is destroyed, or terribly shaken, there is little hope of a general turning to a better faith. War and Revolution are the fiery chariots that must go before the Gospel, to herald its coming and prepare its way. Material forces may open the door to moral influences; the doctrines of human freedom and of human brotherhood may be preached on battle plains as well as in Christian temples. When the hard iron crust of Islam is broken up, and the elements begin to melt with fervent heat, the Eastern world may be moulded into new forms. Then will the Oriental mind be brought into an impressible state, in which argument and persuasion can act upon it; and it may yield to the combined influence of civilization and Christianity. The change will be slow. It will take years; 61 it may take centuries. But sooner or later the fountains of the great deep will be broken up. That cold, relentless system must pass away before the light and warmth of that milder faith which recognizes at once the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.

In that coming age there may be other pilgrimages and processions going up out of Egypt. "The dromedaries shall come from far." But then, if a caravan of pilgrims issues from Cairo, to cross the desert, to seek the birthplace of the founder of its religion, it will not turn South to Mecca, but North to Bethlehem, asking with the Magi of old, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the East, and are come to worship him."




Egypt is a country with a long past, as we found in going up the Nile; may we not hope, also, with a not inglorious future? For ages it was sunk so low that it seemed to be lost from the view of the world. No contrast in history could be greater than that between its ancient glory and its modern degradation. Its revival dates from about the beginning of the present century, and, strange to say, from the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon, which incidentally brought to the surface a man whose rise from obscurity, and whose subsequent career, were only less remarkable than his own. When Napoleon landed in Egypt at the head of a French army of invasion, among the forces gathered to oppose him was a young Albanian, who had crossed over from Greece at the head of three hundred men. This was Mehemet Ali, who soon attracted such attention by his daring and ability, that a few years after the French had been driven out, as the country was still in a distracted state, which required a man of vigor and capacity, he was made Pasha of Egypt—a position which he retained from that time (1806) until his death in 1850. Here he had new dangers, which he faced with the same intrepidity. That which first made his name known to the world as a synonym of resolute courage and implacable revenge, was the massacre of the Mamelukes. These had long been the real masters of Egypt—a terror to every successive government, as were the Janissaries to the Sultan in Constantinople. Mehemet Ali had been but five years in 63 power, when, finding that he was becoming too strong for them, they plotted to destroy him. He learned of the conspiracy just in time, and at once determined to "fight fire with fire;" and, inviting them to the Citadel of Cairo for some public occasion, suddenly shut the gates, and manning the walls with his troops, shot them down in cold blood. Only one man escaped by leaping his horse from the wall. This savage butchery raised a cry of horror throughout Europe, and Mehemet Ali was regarded as a monster of treachery and of cruelty. It is impossible to justify such a deed by any rules of civilized warfare. But this, it is said, was not civilized warfare; it was simply a plot of assassination on one side, forestalled by assassination on the other. I do not justify such reasoning. And yet I could not but listen with interest to Nubar Pasha (the most eloquent talker, as well as the most enlightened statesman, of Egypt), as he defended the conduct of his hero. He, indeed, has a hereditary allegiance to Mehemet Ali, which he derived from his uncle, the prime minister. Said he: "The rule of the Mamelukes was anarchy of the worst kind; it was death to Egypt, and IT IS RIGHT TO KILL DEATH." The reasoning is not very different from that by which Mr. Froude justifies Cromwell's putting the garrison of Drogheda to the sword. Certainly in both cases, in Egypt as in Ireland, the end was peace. From that moment the terror of Mehemet Ali's name held the whole land in awe; and from one end of the valley of the Nile to the other, there was perfect security. "Every tree planted in Egypt," said Nubar Pasha, "is due to him; for till then the people in the country did not dare to plant a tree, for the Mamelukes or the wandering Bedouins came and pitched their tents under its shade, and then robbed the village." But now every wandering tribe that hovered on the borders of the desert, was struck with fear and dread, and did not dare to provoke a power which knew no mercy. Hence the plantations of palms which have sprung up 64 around the Arab villages, and the beautiful avenues of trees which have been planted along the roads.

It is not strange that such a man soon became too powerful, not only for the Mamelukes, but for Turkey. The Sultan did not like it that one of his subjects had "grown so great," and tried more than once to remove him. But the servant had become stronger than his master, and would not be removed. He raised a large army, to which he gave the benefit of European discipline, and in the latter part of his life invaded Syria, and swept northward to Damascus and Aleppo, and was only prevented from marching to Constantinople by the intervention of foreign powers. It seems a pity now that France and England interfered. The Eastern question might have been nearer a solution to-day, if the last blow to the Grand Turk had been given by a Moslem power. But at least this was secured, that the rule of Egypt was confirmed in the family of Mehemet Ali, and the Viceroy of Egypt became as fixed and irremovable as the Sultan himself.

Mehemet Ali died in 1850, and was succeeded by his son Ibrahim Pasha, who inherited much of his father's vigor. Ismail Pasha, the present Khedive, is the son of Ibrahim Pasha, and grandson of Mehemet Ali. Thus he has the blood of warriors in his veins, with which he has inherited much of their proud spirit and indomitable will.

No ruler in the East at the present moment attracts more of the attention of Europe. I am sorry to go away from Cairo without seeing him. I have had two opportunities of being presented, though not by any seeking or suggestion of my own. But friends who were in official positions had arranged it, and the time was fixed twice, but in both cases I had to leave on the day appointed, once to go up the Nile, and the other to embark at Suez. I cannot give therefore a personal description of the man, but can speak of him only from the reports of others, among whom are some who see 65 him often and know him well. The Khedive has many American officers in his service, some of them in high commands (General Stone is at the head of the army), and these are necessarily brought into intimate relations with him. These officers I find without exception very enthusiastic in their admiration. This is quite natural. They are brought into relations with him of the most pleasant kind. He wants an army, and they organize it for him. They discipline his troops; if need be, they fight his battles. As they minister to his desire for power, and for military display, he gives them a generous support. And so both parties are equally pleased with each other.

But making full allowance for all these prepossessions in his favor, there are certain things in which not only they, but all who know the present ruler of Egypt, agree, and which therefore may be accepted without question, which show that he has a natural force of mind and character which would be remarkable in any man, and in one of his position are still more extraordinary. Though living in a palace, and surrounded by luxury, he does not pass his time in idleness, but gives himself no rest, hardly taking time for food and sleep. I am told that he is "the hardest-worked man in Egypt." He rises very early, and sees his Ministers before breakfast, and supervises personally every department of the Government to such extent indeed as to leave little for others to do, so that his Ministers are merely his secretaries. He is the government. Louis XIV. could not more truly say, "I am the State," than can the Khedive of Egypt, so completely does he absorb all its powers.

Such activity seems almost incredible in an Oriental. It would be in a Turk. But Ismail Pasha boasts that "he has not a drop of Turkish blood in his veins." It is easy to see in his restless and active mind the spirit of that fierce old soldier, Mehemet Ali, though softened and disciplined by an European education. 66

This may be a proof of great mental energy, but it is not necessarily of the highest wisdom. The men who accomplish most in the world, are those who use their brains chiefly to plan, and who know how to choose fit instruments to carry out their plans, and do not spend their strength on petty details which might be done quite as well, or even better, by others.

The admirers of the Khedive point justly to what he has done for Egypt. Since he came into power, the Suez Canal has been completed, and is now the highway for the commerce of Europe with India; great harbors have been made or improved at Alexandria, at Port Said, and at Suez; canals for irrigation have been dug here and there, to carry over the country the fertilizing waters of the Nile; and railroads have been cut across the Delta in every direction, and one is already advanced more than two hundred miles up the Nile. These are certainly great public works, which justly entitle the Khedive to be regarded as one of the most enlightened of modern rulers.

But while recognizing all this, there are other things which I see here in Egypt which qualify my admiration. I cannot praise without reserve and many abatements. The Khedive has attempted too much, and in his restless activity has undertaken such vast enterprises that he has brought his country to the verge of bankruptcy. Egypt, like Turkey, is in a very bad way. She has not indeed yet gone to the length of repudiation. From this she has been saved for the moment by the sale of shares of the Suez Canal to England for four millions sterling. But this is only a temporary relief, it is not a permanent cure for what is a deep-seated disease. The financial troubles of Egypt are caused by the restless ambition of the Khedive to accomplish in a few years the work of a century; and to carry out in an impoverished country vast public works, which would task the resources of the richest country in Europe. The Khedive has 67 the reputation abroad of being a great ruler, and he certainly shows an energy that is extraordinary. But it is not always a well regulated energy. He does too much. He is a man of magnificent designs, and projects public works with the grandeur of a Napoleon. This would be very well if his means were at all equal to his ambition. But his designs are so vast that they would require the capital of France or Great Britain, while Egypt is a very poor country. It has always of course the natural productiveness of the valley of the Nile, but beyond that it has nothing; it has no accumulated wealth, no great capitalists, no large private fortunes, no rich middle class, from which to draw an imperial revenue. With all that can be wrung from the miserable fellahs, taxed to the utmost limit of endurance, still the expenses outrun enormously the income.

It is true that Egypt has much more to show for her money than Turkey. If she has gone deeply in debt, and contracted heavy foreign loans, she can at least point to great public works for the permanent good of Egypt; although in the construction of some of these she has anticipated, if not the wants of the country, at least its resources for many years to come.

For example, at the First Cataract, I found men at work upon a railroad that is designed to extend to Khartoum, the capital of Soudan, and the point of junction of the Blue and the White Nile! In the latter part of its course to this point, it is to cross the desert; as it must still farther, if carried eastward, as projected, to Massowah on the Red Sea! These are gigantic projects, but about as necessary to the present commerce of Egypt as would be a railway to the very heart of Africa.

But all the money has not gone in this way. The Khedive has had the ambition to make of Egypt a great African Empire, by adding to it vast regions in the interior. For this he has sent repeated expeditions up the Nile, and is in a continual 68 conflict with his barbarous neighbors, and has at last got into a serious war with Abyssinia.

But even this is not all. Not satisfied with managing the affairs of government, the Khedive, with that restless spirit which characterizes him, is deeply involved in all sorts of private enterprises. He is a speculator on a gigantic scale, going into every sort of mercantile adventure. He is a great real estate operator. He owns whole squares in the new parts of Cairo and Alexandria, on which he is constantly building houses, besides buying houses built by others. He builds hotels and opera houses, and runs steamboats and railroads, like a royal Jim Fisk. The steamer on which we crossed the Mediterranean from Constantinople to Alexandria, belonged to the Khedive, and the railroad that brought us to Cairo, and the hotel in which we were lodged, and the steamer in which we went up the Nile.

Nor is he limited in his enterprises to steamers and railroads. He is a great cotton and sugar planter. He owns a large part of the land in Egypt, on which he has any number of plantations. His immense sugar factories, on which he has expended millions of pounds, may be seen all along the valley of the Nile; and he exports cotton by the shipload from the port of Alexandria.

A man who is thus "up to his eyes" in speculation, who tries to do everything himself, must do many things badly, or at least imperfectly. He cannot possibly supervise every detail of administration, and his agents have not the stimulus of a personal interest to make the most of their opportunity. I asked very often, when up the Nile, if these great sugar factories which I saw paid, and was uniformly answered "No;" but that they would pay in private hands, if managed by those who had a personal stake in saving every needless expense, and increasing every possible source of income. But the Khedive is cheated on every side, and in a hundred ways. And even if there were not actual 69 fraud, the system is one which necessarily involves immense waste and loss. Here in Cairo I find it the universal opinion that almost all the Khedive's speculations have been gigantic failures, and that they are at the bottom of the trouble which now threatens the country.

Such is the present financial condition of the Khedive and of Egypt. I couple the two together; although an attempt is made to distinguish them, and we hear that although Egypt is nearly bankrupt, yet that the Khedive is personally "the richest man in the world!" But the accounts are so mixed that it is very difficult to separate them. There is no doubt that the Khedive has immense possessions in his hands; but he is, at the same time, to use a commercial phrase, enormously "extended;" he is loaded with debt, and has to borrow money at ruinous rates; and if his estate were suddenly wound up, and a "receiver" appointed to administer upon it, it is extremely doubtful what would be the "assets" left.

Such an administrator has appeared. Mr. Cave has just come out from England, to try and straighten out the Khedive's affairs. But he has a great task before him. Wise heads here doubt whether his mission will come to anything, whether indeed he will be allowed to get at the "bottom facts," or to make anything more than a superficial examination, as the basis of a "whitewashing report" which may bolster up Egyptian credit in Paris and London.

But if he does come to know "the truth and the whole truth," then I predict that he will either abandon the case in despair, or he will have to recommend to the Khedive, as the only salvation for him, a more sweeping and radical reform than the latter has yet dreamed of. It requires some degree of moral courage to talk to a sovereign as to a private individual; to speak to him as if he were a prodigal son who had wasted his substance in riotous living; to tell him to moderate his desires, and restrain his ambition, and to live a quiet and sober life; and to "live within his means." But this 70 he must do, or it is easy to see where this brilliant financiering will end.

If Mr. Cave can persuade the Khedive to restrain his extravagance; to stop building palaces (he has now more than he can possibly use); and to give up, once for all, as the follies of his youth, his grand schemes of annexing the whole interior of Africa, as he has already annexed Nubia and Soudan; and to "back out" as gracefully as he can (although it is a very awkward business), of his war with Abyssinia; and then to follow up the good course he has begun with his Suez Canal shares, by selling all his stock in every commercial company (for one man must not try to absorb all the industry of a kingdom); if he can persuade him to sell all the railways in Egypt; and to sell every steamship on the Mediterranean, except such as may be needed for the use of the government; and every boat on the Nile except a yacht or two for his private pleasure; to sell all his hotels and theatres; his sugar factories and cotton plantations; and abandoning all his private speculations, to be content with being simply the ruler of Egypt, and attending to the affairs of government, which are quite enough to occupy the thoughts of "a mind capacious of such things;" then he may succeed in righting up the ship. Otherwise I fear the Khedive will follow the fate of his master the Sultan.

But impending bankruptcy is not the worst feature in Egypt. There is something more rotten in the State than bad financial management. It is the want of justice established by law, which shall protect the rights of the people. At present, liberty there is none; the government is an absolute despotism, as much as it was three thousand years ago. The system under which the Israelites groaned, and for which God brought the plagues upon Egypt, is in full force to-day. The Khedive has obtained great credit abroad by the expeditions of Sir Samuel Baker and others up the Nile, which were said to be designed to break up the slave 71 trade. But what signifies destroying slavery in the interior of Africa, when a system still more intolerable exists in Egypt itself? It is not called slavery; it is simply forced labor, which, being interpreted, means that when the Khedive wants ten thousand men to dig a canal or build a railroad, he sends into the requisite number of villages, and "conscripts" them en masse, just as he conscripts his soldiers (taking them away from their little farms, perhaps, at the very moment when their labor is most needed), and sets them to work for himself, under taskmasters, driving them to work under the goad of the lash, or, if need be, at the point of the bayonet. For this labor, thus cruelly exacted, they receive absolutely nothing—neither pay nor food. A man who has constructed some of the greatest works of Modern Egypt, said to me, as we were riding over the Delta, "I built this railroad. I had under me twenty thousand men—all forced labor. In return for their labor, I gave them—water!" "But surely you paid them wages?" "No." "But at least you gave them food?" "No." "But how did they live?" "The women worked on the land, and brought them bread and rice." "But suppose they failed to bring food, what became of the workmen?" "They starved." And not only were they forced to work without pay and without food, but were often required to furnish their own tools. Surely this is making bricks without straw, as much as the Israelites did. Such a system of labor, however grand the public works it may construct, can hardly excite the admiration of a lover of free institutions.

On all who escape this forced labor, the taxation is fearful. The hand of the government is as heavy upon them as in the ancient days. To one who was telling me of this—and no man knows Egypt better—I said, "Why, the government takes half of all that the country yields." "Half?" he answered, "It takes all." To the miserable fellahs who till the soil it leaves only their mud hovels, the rags that 72 scarcely hide their nakedness, and the few herbs and fruits that but just keep soul and body together. Every acre of ground in Egypt is taxed, and every palm tree in the valley of the Nile. What would our American farmers say to a tax of twelve dollars an acre on their land, and of from twenty-five to fifty cents on every apple tree in their orchards? Yet this enormous burden falls, not on the rich farmers of New England, or New York, or Ohio, but on the miserable fellahs of Egypt, who are far more destitute than the negroes of the South. Yet in the midst of all this poverty and wretchedness, in these miserable Arab villages the tax gatherer appears regularly, and the tax, though it be the price of blood, is remorselessly exacted. If anybody refuses, or is unable to pay, no words are wasted on him, he is immediately bastinadoed till his cries avail—not with the officers of the law, who know no mercy, but with his neighbors, who yielding up their last penny, compel the executioner to let go his hold.

Such is the Egyptian Government as it presses on the people. While its hand is so heavy in ruinous taxations, the administration of justice is pretty much as it was in the time of the Pharaohs. It has been in the hands of a set of native officials, who sometimes executed a rude kind of justice on the old principle of strict retaliation, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," but commonly paid no regard to the merits of a case, but decided it entirely by other considerations. In matters where the Government was concerned, no private individual had any chance whatever. The Khedive was the source of all authority and power, a central divinity, of whom every official in the country was an emanation, before whom no law or justice could stand. In other matters judges decided according to their own pleasure—their like or dislike of one or the other of the parties—or more often according to their interest, for they were notoriously open to bribes. Thus in the whole land of Egypt justice there was 73 none. In every Arab village the sheik was a petty tyrant, who could bastinado the miserable fellahs at his will.

This rough kind of government answered its purpose—or at least there was no one who dared to question it—so long as they had only their own people to rule over. But when foreigners came to settle in Egypt, they were not willing to be subjected to this Oriental justice. Hence arose a system of Consular Courts, by which every question which concerned a foreigner was argued and decided before a mixed tribunal, composed of the Consul of the country and a native judge. This seemed very fair, but in fact it only made confusion worse confounded. For naturally the Consul sided with his own countryman (if he did not, he would be considered almost a traitor), his foreign prejudices came into play; and so what was purely a question of law, became a political question. It was not merely a litigation about property between A and B, but a matter of diplomatic skill between France (or any other foreign power) and Egypt; and as France was the stronger, she was the more likely to succeed. Hence the foreigner had great advantages over the native in these Consular Courts, and if in addition the native judge was open to a bribe, and the foreigner was willing to give it, the native suitor, however wronged, was completely at his mercy.

Such was the state of things until quite recently. But here at least there has been a reform in the introduction of a new judicial system, which is the greatest step forward that has been taken within half a century.

The man who was the first to see what was the radical vice of the country, the effectual hindrance to its prosperity, was Nubar Pasha. He had the sagacity to see that the first want of Egypt was not more railroads and steamboats, but simple justice—the protection of law. How clearly he saw the evil, was indicated by a remark which I once heard him make. He said: "The idea of justice does not exist in the Oriental mind. We have governors and judges, who 74 sit to hear causes, and who decide them after the Oriental fashion—that is, they will decide in favor of a friend against an enemy, or more commonly in favor of the man who can pay the largest bribe; but to sit patiently and listen to evidence, and then decide according to abstract justice, is something not only foreign to their customs, but of which they have absolutely no idea—they cannot conceive of it." He saw that a feeling of insecurity was at the bottom of the want of confidence at home and abroad; and that to "establish justice" was the first thing both to encourage native industry, and to invite the capital of France and England to expend itself in the valley of the Nile. To accomplish this has been his single aim for many years. He has set himself to do away with the old Oriental system complicated by the Consular Courts, and to introduce the simple administration of justice, by which there should be one law for natives and foreigners, for the rich and the poor, for the powerful and the weak.

To inaugurate such a policy, which was a virtual revolution, the initiative must be taken by Egypt. But how could the Khedive propose a change which was a virtual surrender of his own absolute power? He could no longer be absolute within the courts: and to give up this no Oriental despot would consent, for it was parting with the dearest token of his power over the lives and fortunes of his subjects. But the Khedive was made to see, that, if he surrendered something, he gained much more; that it was an immense advantage to himself and his country to be brought within the pale of European civilization; and that this could not be until it was placed under the protection of European law.

But Egypt was not the only power to be consulted. The change could only be made by treaty with other countries, and Egypt was not an independent State, and had no right to enter into negotiations with foreign powers without the consent of the Porte. To obtain this involved long and 75 tedious delays at Constantinople. And last of all, the foreign States themselves had to be persuaded into it, for of course the change involved the surrender of their consular jurisdiction; and all were jealous lest it should be giving up the rights of their citizens. To persuade them to the contrary was a slow business. Each government considered how it would affect its own subjects. France especially, which had had great advantages under the old Consular Courts, was the last to give its consent to the new system. It was only a few days before the New Year, at which it was to be inaugurated, that the National Assembly, after a debate lasting nearly a week, finally adopted the measure by a majority of three to one, and thus the great judicial reform, on which the wisest statesman of Egypt had so long fixed his heart, was consummated.

The change, in a word, is this. The old Consular Courts are abolished, and in their place are constituted three courts—one at Cairo, one at Alexandria, and one at Ismailia—each composed of seven judges, of whom a majority are nominated by the foreign powers which have most to do with Egypt: France, England, Germany, Austria, Russia, and the United States. In the selection of judges, as there are three benches to be filled, several are taken from the smaller states of Europe. There is also a higher Court of Appeal constituted in the same way.

The judges to fill these important positions have already been named by the different governments, and so far as the personnel of the new courts is concerned, leave nothing to be desired. They are all men of reputation in their own countries, as having the requisite legal knowledge and ability, and as men of character, who will administer the law in the interest of justice, and that alone. The United States is represented by Judge Barringer at Alexandria, and Judge Batcheller at Cairo—both of whom will render excellent service to Egypt, and do honor to their own country. 76

The law which these courts are to administer, is not Moslem law (until now the supreme law of Egypt was the Koran, as it still is in Turkey), nor any kind of Oriental law—but European law. Guided by the same intelligence which framed the new judicial system, Egypt has adopted the Code Napoleon. The French language will be used in the courts for the European judges, and the Arabic for the native.

In administering this law, these courts are supreme; they cannot be touched by the Government, or their decisions annulled; for they are constituted by treaty, and any attempt to interfere with them would at once be resented by all the foreign powers as a violation of a solemn compact, and bring down upon Egypt the protest and indignation of the whole civilized world.

The change involved in the introduction of such a system can hardly be realized by Europeans or Americans. It is the first attempt to inaugurate a reign of law in Egypt, or perhaps in any Oriental country. It is a breakwater equally against the despotism of the central power, and the meddlesomeness of foreign governments, acting through the Consular Courts. For the first time the Khedive is himself put under law, and has some check to his power over the lives and property of his subjects. Indeed we may say that it is the first time in the history of Egypt that there has been one law for ruler and people—for the Khedive and the fellah, for the native-born and for the stranger within their gates.

The completion of such a system, after so much labor, has naturally been regarded with great satisfaction by those who have been working for it, and its inauguration on the first of the year was an occasion of congratulation. On that day the new judges were inducted into office, and after taking their official oaths they were all entertained at the house of Judge Batcheller, where was present also Mr. Washburne, 77 our Minister at Paris, and where speeches were made in English, French, German, and Arabic, and the warmest wishes expressed both by the foreign and native judges, that a system devised with so much care for the good of Egypt, might be completely successful. Of course it will take time for the people to get accustomed to the new state of things. They are so unused to any form of justice that at first they hardly know what it means, and will be suspicious of it, as if it were some new device of oppression. They have to be educated to justice, as to everything else. By and bye they will get some new ideas into their heads, and we may see a real administration of justice in the valley of the Nile. That it may realize the hopes of the great man by whom it has been devised, and "establish justice" in a country in which justice has been hitherto unknown, will be the wish of every American.

This new judicial system is the one bright spot in the state of Egypt, where there is so much that is dark. It is the one step of real progress to be set over against all the waste and extravagance, the oppression and tyranny. Aside from that I cannot indulge in any rose-colored views. I cannot go into ecstasies of admiration over a government which has had absolute control of the country for so many years, and has brought it to the verge of ruin.

And yet these failures and disasters, great as they are, do not abate my interest in Egypt, nor in that remarkable man who has at present its destinies in his hands. I would not ask too much, nor set up an unreasonable standard. I am not so foolish as to suppose that Egypt can be a constitutional monarchy like England; or a republic like America. This would be carrying republicanism to absurdity. I am not such an enthusiast for republican institutions, as to believe that they are the best for all peoples, whatever their degree of intelligence. They would be unsuited to Egypt. The people are not fit for them. They are not only very poor, but very 78 ignorant. There is no middle class in Egypt in which to find the materials of free institutions. Republican as I am, I believe that the best possible government for Egypt is an enlightened despotism; and my complaint against the government of the Khedive is, not that he concentrates all power in himself, but that he does not use it wisely—that his government unites, with many features of a civilized state, some of the very worst features of Oriental tyranny.

But with all that is dark in the present state of this country, and sad in the condition of its people, I believe that Egypt has a great future before it; that it is to rise to a new life, and become a prosperous State of the modern world. The Nile valley has a great part yet to play in the future civilization of Africa, as an avenue of access to the interior—to those central highlands where are the Great Lakes, which are the long-sought sources of the Nile; and from which travellers and explorers, merchants and missionaries, may descend on the one hand to the Niger, and to the Western Coast; or, on the other, to those vast regions which own the rule of the Sultan of Zanzibar. I watch with interest every Expedition up the Nile, if so be it is an advance, not of conquest, but of peaceful commerce and civilization.

Perhaps the Khedive will rise to the height of the emergency, and bring his country out of all its difficulties, and set it on a new career of prosperity. He has great qualities, great capacity and marvellous energy. Has he also the gift of political wisdom?

Never had a ruler such an opportunity. He has a part to act—if he knows how to act it well—which will give him a name in history greater than any of the old kings of Egypt, since to him it is given to reconstruct a kingdom, and to lead the way for the regeneration of a continent. If only he can see that his true interest lies, not in war, but in peace, not in conquering all the tribes of Africa, and annexing 79 their territory, but in developing the resources of his own country, and in peaceful commerce with his less civilized neighbors, he will place himself at the head of a continent, and by the powerful influence of his example, and of his own prosperous State, become not only the Restorer of Egypt, but the Civilizer of Africa.




Our last night in Cairo we spent in riding out to Ghizeh by moonlight, and exploring the interior of the Great Pyramid. We had already been there by day, and climbed to the top, but did not then go inside. There is no access but by a single narrow passage, four feet wide and high, which slopes at a descending angle, so that one must stoop very low while he slides down an inclined plane, as if he were descending into a mine by a very small shaft. There is not much pleasure in crouching and creeping along such a passage, with a crowd of Arab guides before and behind, lighting the darkness with their torches, and making the rocky cavern hideous with their yells. These creatures fasten on the traveller, pulling and pushing, smoking in his face, and raising such a dust that he cannot see, and is almost choked, and keeping up such a noise that he cannot hear, and can hardly think. One likes a little quiet and silence, a little chance for meditation, when he penetrates the sepulchre of kings, where a Pharaoh was laid down to rest four thousand years ago. So I left these interior researches, on our first visit to the Pyramid, to the younger members of our party, and contented myself with clambering up its sides, and looking off upon the desert and the valley of the Nile, with Cairo in the distance.

But on our trip up the Nile, I read the work of Piazzi Smyth, the Astronomer Royal of Scotland, "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid," and had my curiosity excited to see 81 again a structure which was not only the oldest and greatest in the world, but in which he thought to have discovered the proofs of a divine revelation. Dr. Grant of Cairo, who had made a study of the subject, and had spent many nights in the heart of the Pyramid, taking accurate measurements, kindly offered to accompany us; and so we made up a party of those who had come down the Nile—an Episcopal clergyman from New England, a Colonel from the United States Army, a lady from Cambridge, Mass., and a German lady and her daughter who had been with us for more than two months, and my niece and myself. It was to be our last excursion together, as we were to part on the morrow, and should probably never all meet again.

At half-past eight o'clock we drove away from the Ezbekieh square in Cairo. It was one of those lovely nights found only in Egypt. The moon, approaching the full, cast a soft light on everything—on the Nile, as we crossed the long iron bridge, and on the palms, waving gently in the night wind. We rode along under the avenue of trees planted by old Mehemet Ali, keeping up an animated conversation, and getting a great deal of information about Egypt. It was two hours before we reached the Pyramid. Of course the Arabs, who had seen the carriages approaching along the road, and who like vultures, discern their prey from a great distance, were soon around us, offering their services. But Dr. Grant, whose experience had taught him whom to seek, sent for the head man, whom he knew, who had accompanied him in his explorations, and bade him seek out a sufficient number of trusty guides for our party, and keep off the rest.

While the sheik was seeking for his retainers, we strolled away to the Sphinx, which looked more strange and weird than ever in the moonlight. How many centuries has he sat there, crouching on the desert, and looking towards the rising sun. The body is that of a recumbent lion. The back only is seen, as the giant limbs, which are stretched out 82 sixty feet in front, are wholly covered by the sand. But the mighty head still lifts its unchanged brow above the waste, looking towards the East, to see the sun rise, as it has every morning for four thousand years.

On our return to the Pyramid, Dr. Grant pointed out the "corner sockets" of the original structure, showing how much larger it was when first built, and as it stood in the time of the Pharaohs. It is well known that it has been mutilated by the successive rulers of Egypt, who have stripped off its outer layers of granite to build palaces and mosques in Cairo. This process of spoliation, continued for centuries, has reduced the size of the Pyramid two acres, so that now it covers but eleven acres of ground, whereas originally it covered thirteen. Outside of all this was a pavement of granite, extending forty feet from the base, which surrounded the whole.

By the time we had returned, the sheik was on hand with his swarthy guides around him, and we prepared to enter the Pyramid. It was not intended to be entered. If it had been so designed—as it is the largest building in the world—it would have had a lofty gateway in keeping with its enormous proportions, like the temples of Upper Egypt. But it is not a temple, nor a place for assembly or for worship, nor even a lofty, vaulted place of burial, like the tombs of the Medici in Florence, or other royal mausoleums. Except the King's and Queen's chambers (which are called chambers by courtesy, not being large enough for ordinary bedrooms in a royal palace, but more like a hermit's rocky cell), the whole Pyramid is one mass of stone, as solid as the cliff of El Capitan in the Yo Semite valley. The only entrance is by the narrow passage already described; and even this was walled up so as to be concealed. If it were intended for a tomb, whoever built it sealed it up, that its secret might remain forever inviolate; and that the dead might slumber undisturbed until the Judgment day. It was only by accident 83 that an entrance was discovered. About a thousand years ago a Mohammedan ruler, conceiving the idea that the Pyramid had been built as a storehouse for the treasures of the kings of Egypt, undertook to break into it, and worked for months to pierce the granite sides, but was about to give it up in despair, when the accidental falling of a stone led to the discovery of the passage by which one now gains access to the interior.

In getting into the Pyramid one must stoop to conquer. But this stooping is nothing to the bodily prostrations he has to undergo to get into some passages of the temples and underground tombs. Often one has not only to crouch, but to crawl. Near the Pyramid are some tombs, the mouths of which are so choked up with sand that one has actually to forego all use of hands and knees. I threw myself in despair on the ground, and told the guides to drag me in by the heels. As one lies prone on the earth, he cannot help feeling that this horizontal posture is rather ridiculous for one who is in the pursuit of knowledge. I could not but think to what a low estate I had fallen. Sometimes one feels indeed, as he is thus compelled to "lick the dust," as if the curse of the serpent were pronounced upon him, "On thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."

We had trusted to the man in authority to protect us from the horde of Arabs; but nothing could keep back the irrepressible camp-followers, who flocked after us, and when we got into the King's chamber, we found we had twenty-four! With such a bodyguard, each carrying a lighted candle, we took up our forward march, or rather our forward stoop, for no man can stand upright in this low passage. Thus bending one after another, like a flock of sheep, we vanished from the moonlight. Dr. Grant led the way, and, full of the wonders of the construction of the Pyramid, he called to me, as he disappeared down its throat, to look back and see how that long tube—longer and larger than any telescope 84 that ever was made—pointed towards the North Star. But stars and moon were soon eclipsed, and we were lost in the darkness of this labyrinth. The descent is easy, indeed it is too easy, for the sides of the passage are of polished limestone, smooth as glass, and the floor affords but a slight hold for the feet, so that as we bent forward, we found it difficult to keep our balance, and might have fallen from top to bottom if we had not had the strong arms of our guides to hold us up. With such a pair of crutches to lean upon, we slid down the smooth worn pavement till we came to a huge boulder, a granite portcullis, which blocked our way, around which a passage had been cut. Creeping around this, pulled and hauled by the Arabs, who lifted us over the dangerous places, we were shouldered on to another point of rock, and now began our ascent along a passage as slippery as that before. Here again we should have made poor progress alone, with our boots which slipped at every moment on the smooth stones, but for the Arabs, whose bare feet gave them a better hold, and who held us fast.

And now we are on a level and move along a very low passage, crouching almost on our hands and knees, till we raise our heads and stand in the Queen's Chamber—so called for no reason that we know but that it is smaller than the King's.

Returning from this, we find ourselves at the foot of the Grand Gallery, or, as it might be called, Grand Staircase (as in its lofty proportions it is not unlike one of the great staircases in the old palaces of Genoa and Venice), which ascends into the heart of the Pyramid. This is a magnificent hall, 157 feet long, 28 feet high, and 7 feet wide. But the ascent as before is over smooth and polished limestone, to climb which is like climbing a cone of ice. We could not have got on at all but for the nimble Arabs, whose bare feet enabled them to cling to the slippery stone like cats, and who, grasping us in their naked arms, dragged us forward by 85 main force. The ladies shrank from this kind of assistance, as they were sometimes almost embraced by these swarthy creatures. But there was no help for it. This kind of bodily exercise, passive and active, soon brought on an excessive heat. We were almost stifled. Our faces grew red; I tore off my cravat to keep from choking. Still, like a true American, I was willing to endure anything if only I got ahead, and felt rewarded when we reached the top of the Grand Gallery, and instead of looking up, looked down.

From this height we creep along another passage till we reach the object of our climbing, in the lofty apartment called the King's Chamber. This is the heart of the Great Pyramid—the central point for which apparently it was built, and where, if anywhere, its secret is to be found. At one end lies the sarcophagus (if such it was; if the Pyramid was designed to be a tomb) in which the great Cheops was buried. It is now tenantless, except by such fancies as travellers choose to fill it withal. I know not what sudden freak of fancy took me just then, perhaps I thought, How would it seem to be a king even in his tomb? and instantly I threw myself down at full length within the sarcophagus, and lay extended, head thrown back, and hands folded on my breast, lying still, as great Cheops may have lain, when they laid him in his royal house of death. It was a soft bed of dust, which, as I sank in it, left upon my whole outward man a marked impression. It seemed very like ordinary dust, settled from the clouds raised by the Arabs in their daily entrances to show the chamber to visitors. But it was much more poetical to suppose that it was the mouldering dust of Cheops himself, in which case even the mass that clung to my hair might be considered as an anointing from the historic past. From this I was able to relieve myself, after I reached home that night, by a plentiful application of soap and water; but alas, my gray travelling suit bore the scars of battle, the "dust of conflict," much longer, and 86 it was not till we left Suez that a waiter of the ship took the garment in hand, and by a vigorous beating exorcised the stains of Egypt, so that Pharaoh and his host—or his dust—were literally cast into the Red Sea.

And now we were all in the King's Chamber, our party of eight, with three times the number of Arabs. The latter were at first quite noisy, after their usual fashion, but Dr. Grant, who speaks Arabic, hushed them with a peremptory command, and they instantly subsided, and crouched down by the wall, and sat silent, watching our movements. One of the party had brought with him some magnesium wire, which he now lighted, and which threw a strong glare on the sides and on the ceiling of the room, which, whether or not intended for the sepulchre of kings, is of massive solidity—faced round with red granite, and crossed above with enormous blocks of the same rich dark stone. With his subject thus illuminated, Dr. Grant pointed out with great clearness those features of the King's Chamber which have given it a scientific interest. The sarcophagus, which is an oblong chest of red granite, in his opinion, as in that of Piazzi Smyth, is not a sarcophagus at all; indeed it looks quite as much like a huge bath-tub as a place of burial for one of the Pharaohs. He called my attention to the fact that it could not have been introduced into the Pyramid by any of the known passages. It must, therefore, have been built in it. It is also a singular fact that it has no cover, as a sarcophagus always has. No mummy was ever found in it so far as we have any historic record. Piazzi Smyth, in his book, which is full of curious scientific lore, argues that it was not intended for a tomb, but for a fixed standard of measures, such as was given to Moses by Divine command. It is certainly a remarkable coincidence, if nothing more, that it is of the exact size of the Ark of the Covenant. But without giving too much importance to real or supposed analogies and correspondences, we must acknowledge 87 that there are many points in the King's Chamber which make it a subject of curious study and of scientific interest; and which seem to show that it was constructed with reference to certain mathematical proportions, and had a design beyond that of being a mere place of burial.

After we had had this scientific discussion, we prepared for a discussion of a different kind—that of the lunch which we had brought with us. A night's ride sharpens the appetite. As the only place where we could sit was the sarcophagus itself, we took our places in it, sitting upon its granite sides. An Arab who knew what we should want, had brought a pitcher of water, which, as the heat was oppressive, was most grateful to our lips, and not less acceptable to remove the dust from our eyes and hands. Thus refreshed, we relished our oranges and cakes, and the tiny cups of Turkish coffee.

To add to the weirdness of the scene, the Arabs asked if we would like to see them perform one of their native dances? Having our assent, they formed in a circle, and began moving their bodies back and forth, keeping time with a strange chant, which was not very musical in sound, as the dance was not graceful in motion. It was quickly over, when, of course, the hat was passed instantly for a contribution.

The Colonel proposed the health of Cheops! Poor old Cheops! What would he have said to see such a party disturbing the place of his rest at such an hour as this? I looked at my watch; it was midnight—an hour when the dead are thought to stir uneasily in their graves. Might he not have risen in wrath out of his sarcophagus to see these frivolous moderns thus making merry in the place of his sepulture? But this midnight feast was not altogether gay, for some of us thought how we should be "far away on the morrow." For weeks and months we had been travelling together, but this excursion was to be our last. We were taking our parting feast—a fact which gave it a touch 88 of sadness, as the place and the hour gave it a peculiar interest.

And now we prepared to descend. I lingered in the chamber to the last, waiting till all had gone—till even the last attendant had crawled out and was heard shouting afar off—that I might for a moment, at least, be alone in the silence and the darkness in the heart of the Pyramid; and then, crouching as before, followed slowly the lights that were becoming dimmer and dimmer along the low and narrow passage. Arrived at the top of the Grand Gallery, I waited with a couple of Arabs till all our party descended, and then lighting a magnesium wire, threw a sudden and brilliant light over the lofty walls.

It was one o'clock when we emerged from our tomb to the air and the moonlight, and found our carriages waiting for us. The moon was setting in the West as we rode back under the long avenue of trees, and across the sacred Nile. It was three o'clock when we reached our hotel, and bade each other good-night and good-bye. Early in the morning two of us were to leave for India on our way around the world, and others were to turn their faces towards the Holy Land and Italy. But however scattered over Europe and America, none of us will ever forget our Midnight in the Heart of the Great Pyramid.

In recalling this memory of Egypt, my object is not merely to furnish a poetical and romantic description, but to invite the attention of the most sober readers to what may well be a study and an instruction. This Pyramid was the greatest of the Seven Wonders of the World in the time of the Greeks, and it is the only one now standing on the earth. May it not be that it contains some wisdom of the ancients that is worthy the attention of the boastful moderns; some secret and sacred lore which the science of the present day may well study to reveal? It may be (as Piazzi Smyth argues in his learned book) that we who are now upon the earth 89 have "an inheritance in the Great Pyramid;" that it was built not merely to swell the pride of the Pharaohs, and to be the wonder of the Egyptians; but for our instruction, on whom the ends of the world are come. Without giving our adhesion in advance to any theory, there are certain facts, clearly apparent, which give to this structure more than a monumental interest. For thousands of years it had been supposed to have been built for a royal tomb—for that and that only. So perhaps it was—and perhaps not. At any rate a very slight observation will show that it was built also for other purposes. For example:

Observe its geographical position. It stands at the apex of the Delta of the Nile, and Piazzi Smyth claims, in the centre of the habitable globe! He has a map in which its point is fixed in Africa, yet between Europe and Asia, and which shows that it stands in the exact centre of the land surface of the whole world. This, if it be an accident, is certainly a singular one.

Then it is exactly on the thirtieth parallel of latitude, and it stands four-square, its four sides facing exactly the four points of compass—North, South, East, and West. Now the chances are a million to one that this could not occur by accident. There is no need to argue such a matter. It was certainly done by design, and shows that the old Egyptians knew how to draw a meridian line, and to take the points of compass, as accurately as the astronomers of the present day.

Equally evident is it that they were able to measure the solar year as exactly as modern astronomers. Taking the sacred cubit as the unit of measure there are in each side of the Pyramid just 365¼ cubits, which gives not only the number of days in the year, but the six hours over!

That it was built for astronomical purposes, seems probable from its very structure. Professor Proctor argues that it was erected for purposes of astrology! Never was there 90 such an observatory in the world. Its pinnacle is the loftiest ever placed in the air by human hands. It seems as if the Pyramid were built like the tower of Babel, that its top might "touch heaven." From that great height one has almost a perfect horizon, looking off upon the level valley of the Nile. It is said that it could not have been ascended because its sides were covered with polished stone. But may there not have been a secret passage to the top? It is hard to believe that such an elevation was not made use of by a people so much given to the study of the stars as were the ancient Egyptians. In some way we would believe that the priests and astrologers of Egypt were able to climb to that point, where they might sit all night long looking at the constellations through that clear and cloudless sky; watching Orion and the Pleiades, as they rose over the Mokattam hills on the other side of the Nile, and set behind the hills of the Libyan desert.

There is another very curious fact in the Pyramid, that the passage by which it is entered points directly to the North Star, and yet not to the North Star that now is, but to Alpha Draconis, which was the North Star four thousand years ago. This is one way in which the age of the Pyramid is determined, for it is found by the most exact calculations that 2170 years before Christ, a man placed at the bottom of that passage, as at the bottom of a well, and looking upward through that shaft, as if he were looking through the great telescope of Lord Rosse, would fix his eye exactly on the North Star—the pole around which was revolving the whole celestial sphere. As is well known, this central point of the heavens changes in the lapse of ages, but that star will come around to the same point in 25,800 years more, when, if the Pyramid be still standing, the observers of that remote period can again look upward and see Alpha Draconis on his throne, and mark how the stars "return again" to their places in the everlasting revolutions of the heavens. 91

As to the measurement of time, all who have visited astronomical observatories know the extreme and almost infinite pains taken to obtain an even temperature for clocks. The slightest increase of temperature may elongate the pendulum, and so affect the duration of a second, and this, though it be in a degree so infinitesimal as to be almost inappreciable, yet becomes important to the accuracy of computations, when a unit has to be multiplied by hundreds of millions, as it is in calculating the distances of the heavenly bodies. To obviate this difficulty, astronomical clocks are sometimes placed in apartments under ground, closed in with thick walls (where even the door is rarely opened, but the observations are made through a glass window), so that it cannot be affected by the variations of temperature of the outer world. But here, in the heart of this mountain of stone, the temperature is preserved at an absolute equilibrium, so that there is no expansion by heat and no contraction by cold. What are all the observatories of Greenwich, and Paris and Pulkowa, to such a rock-built citadel as the Great Pyramid?

But not only was the Pyramid designed to stand right in its position towards the earth and the heavenly bodies; but also, and perhaps chiefly (so argues Prof. Smyth) was it designed for metrological (not meteorological) purposes—to furnish an exact standard of weights and measures. The unit of lineal measure used in the Pyramid he finds to correspond not to the English foot, nor to the French metre, but to the Hebrew sacred cubit. This is certainly a curious coincidence, but may it not prove simply that the latter was derived from the former? Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and may have brought from the Valley of the Nile weights and measures, as well as customs and laws.

But this cubit itself, wherever it came from, has some very remarkable correspondences. French and English mathematicians and astronomers have had great difficulty to fix upon 92 an exact standard of lineal measure. Their method has been to take some length which had an exact relation to one of the unchangeable spaces or distances of the globe itself. Thus the English inch is one five hundred millionth part of the axis of the earth. But Prof. Smyth finds in the Great Pyramid a still better standard of measure. The cubit contains twenty-five of what he calls "Pyramid inches," and fifty of these are just equal to one ten-millionth part of the earth's axis of rotation! He finds in the Pyramid a greater wonder still in a measure for determining the distance of the earth from the sun, which is the unit for calculating the distances of the heavenly bodies! That which scientific expeditions have been sent into all parts of the earth within the last two years to determine by more accurate observations of the transit of Venus, is more exactly told in the Great Pyramid erected four thousand years ago!

It is a very fascinating study to follow this learned professor in his elaborate calculations. He seems to think the whole of the exact sciences contained in the Great Pyramid. The vacant chest of red granite in the King's Chamber, over which Egyptologists have puzzled so much, is to him as the very ark of the Lord. That which has been supposed to be a sarcophagus, with no other interest than as having once held a royal mummy, he holds not to be the tomb of Cheops, or of any of the kings of Egypt, but a sacred coffer intended to serve as a standard of weights and measures for all time to come. He thinks it accomplishes perfectly the arithmetical feat of squaring the circle!—the height being to the circumference of the base, as the radius is to the circumference of a circle.

But the Great Pyramid has, to Professor Smyth, more than a scientific—it has a religious interest. He is a Scotchman, and not only a man of science, but one who believes, with all the energy of his Scotch nature, in a Divine revelation; and as might be supposed, he connects this monument 93 of scientific learning with One who is the source of all wisdom and knowledge. However great may have been the wisdom of the Egyptians, he does not believe that they had a knowledge of geodesy and astronomy greater than the most learned scientific men of our day. He has another explanation, that the Great Pyramid was built by the guidance of Him who led the Israelites out of Egypt, and who, as he shone upon their path in the desert, now shines by this lighthouse and signal tower upon the blindness and ignorance of the world. He believes that the Pyramid was constructed by Divine inspiration just as much as the Jewish Tabernacle; that as Moses was commanded to fashion everything according to the pattern showed to him in the Mount, so some ancient King of Egypt, working under Divine inspiration, builded better than he knew, and wrought into enduring stone, truths which he did not perhaps himself understand, but which were to be revealed in the last time, and to testify to a later generation the manifold wisdom of God. As to its age he places it somewhere between the time of Noah and the calling of Abraham. Dr. Grant even thinks it was built before the death of Noah! But mankind could hardly have multiplied in the earth in the lifetime of even the oldest of the patriarchs, so as to be capable of building such monuments. The theory is that it was not built by an Egyptian architect. There is a tradition mentioned in Herodotus of a shepherd who came from a distant country, from the East, who had much to do with the building of the Pyramid, and was regarded as a heavenly visitant and director. Prof. Smyth thinks it probable, that this visitor was Melchisedek! He even gives the Pyramid a prophetic character, and thinks that the different passages and chambers are designed to be symbolical of the different economies through which God educates the race. The entrance at first descends. That may represent the gradual decadence of mankind to the time of the Flood, or to the exodus of the Israelites. Then the passage 94 begins to ascend, but slowly and painfully, which represents the Jewish Dispensation, when men were struggling towards the light. After a hundred and twenty-seven feet of this stooping and creeping upward, there is a sudden enlargement, and the low passage rises up into the Grand Gallery, just as the Mosaic economy, after groping through many centuries, at last bursts into the full glory of the Christian Dispensation.

Believing in its inspired character, he finds in every part of this wonderful structure signs and symbols. Taking it as an emblem of Christian truth, where is the chief corner-stone? Not at the base, but at the top—the apex! At the bottom, there are four stones which are equal—no one of which is above another—the chief corner-stone therefore must be the capstone!

It will be perceived that this is a very original and very sweeping theory; that it overturns all our ideas of the Great Pyramid; that it not only turns Cheops out of it, but turns Science and Revelation together into it. We may well hesitate before accepting it in its full extent, and yet we must acknowledge our indebtedness to Prof. Smyth. He has certainly given a new interest to this hoary monument of the past. Scientific men who reject his theory are still deeply interested in the facts which he brings to light, which they recognize as very extraordinary, and which show a degree of scientific knowledge which not only they did not believe to exist among the Egyptians, but which hardly exists in our day.

So much as this we may freely concede, that the Pyramid has a scientific value, if not a sacred character; that it is full of the wisdom of the Egyptians, if not of the inspiration of the Almighty; and that it is a storehouse of ancient knowledge, even if it be not the very Ark of the Covenant, in which the holiest mysteries are enshrined!

Leaving out what may be considered fanciful in the speculations 95 of the Scotch astronomer, there is yet much in the facts he presents worthy the consideration of the man of science, as well as the devout attention of the student of the Bible, and which, if duly weighed, will at once enlarge our knowledge and strengthen our faith.

Such are the lessons that we derive from even our slight acquaintance with the Great Pyramid; and so, as we looked back that night, and saw it standing there in the moonlight, its cold gray summit, its "chief corner-stone," pointing upwards to the clear unclouded firmament, it seemed to point to something above the firmament—to turn our eyes and thoughts to Heaven and to God.




We left Cairo the next morning. Our departure from Egypt was not exactly like that of the Israelites, though we came through the land of Goshen, and by the way of the Red Sea. We did not flee away at night, nor hear the rush of horses and chariots behind us. Indeed we were very reluctant to flee at all; we did not like to go away, for in those five or six weeks we had grown very fond of the country, to which the society of agreeable travelling companions lent an additional charm.

But the world was all before us, and necessity bade us depart. It was the 6th of January, the beginning of the feast of Bairam, the Mohammedan Passover. The guns of the Citadel ushered in the day, observed by all devout Mussulmans, which commemorates the sacrifice by Abraham—not of Isaac, but of Ishmael, for the Arabs, who are descendants of Ishmael, have no idea of his being set aside by the other son of the Father of the Faithful. On this day every family sacrifices the paschal lamb (which explains the flocks of sheep which we had seen for several days in the streets of the city), and sprinkles its blood upon the lintels and doorposts of their houses, that the angel of death may pass them by. The day is one of general rejoicing and festivity. The Khedive gives a grand reception to all the foreign representatives at his palace of Gezireh, at which I had been invited to be present. But from this promised pleasure I had to tear myself away, to reach the steamer at Suez on which we 97 were to embark the next day for India. But if we missed the Khedive, we had at least a compensation, for as we were at the station, who should appear but Nubar Pasha! He had just resigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which took a load off his shoulders, and felt like a boy out of school, and was now going off to a farm which he has a few miles from Cairo, to have a holiday. He immediately came to us and took a seat in the same carriage, and we sat together for an hour, listening to his delightful conversation, as he talked of Egypt with a patriot's love and a poet's enthusiasm. There is no man who more earnestly wishes its prosperity, and it would be well for the Khedive if he were always guided by such advisers. At the station his servants met him with one of those beautiful white donkeys, so much prized in the East, and as he rode away waving his hand to us, we felt that we were parting from one of the wisest and wittiest men whom it had been our good fortune to meet in all our travels.

At Zagazig, the railroad from Cairo unites with that from Alexandria. Here we stopped to dine, and while waiting, a special train arrived with Mr. Cave, who has come out from London to try and put some order into the financial affairs of Egypt. If he succeeds, he will deserve to be ranked very high as a financier. He was going on to Ismailia to meet M. de Lesseps, that they might go through the Suez Canal together.

And now we leave behind us the rich land of Goshen, where Joseph placed his father Jacob and his brethren, with their flocks and herds; we leave the fertile meadows and the palm groves. We are on the track of the Israelites; we have passed Rameses, the first station in their march, and entered the desert, that "great and terrible wilderness" in which they wandered forty years. We enter it, not on camels or horses, but drawn by a steed of fire. A railway in the desert! This is progress indeed. There is something 98 very imposing to the imagination in the idea of an iron track laid in the pathless sands, over which long trains move swifter than "the swift dromedaries," and carrying burdens greater than the longest caravans. These are the highways of civilization, which may yet carry it into the heart of Africa. Here, too, are the great ships, passing through the Suez Canal, whose tall masts are outlined against the horizon, as they move slowly from sea to sea.

And now we are approaching the border line between Asia and Africa. It is an invisible line; no snow-capped mountains divide the mighty continents which were the seats of the most ancient civilization; no sea flows between them: the Red Sea terminates over seventy miles from the Mediterranean; even the Suez Canal does not divide Asia and Africa, for it is wholly in Egypt. Nothing marks where Africa ends and Asia begins, but a line in the desert, covered by drifting sands. And yet there is something which strangely touches the imagination, as we move forward in the twilight, with the sun behind us, setting over Africa, and before us the black night coming on over the whole continent of Asia.

So would I take leave of Africa—in the Night and in the Desert. Byron closes his Childe Harold with an apostrophe to the Ocean, his Pilgrim ending his wanderings on the shore. The Desert is like the Sea: it fills the horizon, and shuts out the sight of "busy cities far away," leaving one on the boundless plain, as on the Ocean—alone with the Night. Perhaps I may be indulged in some quiet musings here, before we embark on the Red Sea, and seek a new world in India.

But what can one say of the desert? The subject seems as barren as its own sands. Life in the desert? There is no life; it is the very realm of death, where not a blade of grass grows, nor even an insect's wing flutters over the mighty desolation; the only objects in motion, the clouds that flit across the sky, and cast their shadows on the barren 99 waste below; and the only sign that man has ever passed over it, the bleaching bones that mark the track of caravans.

But as we look, behold "a wind cometh out of the North," and stirring the loose sand, whirls it into a column, which moves swiftly towards us like a ghost, as if it said: "I am the spirit of the desert; man, wherefore comest thou here? Pass on. If thou invadest long my realm of solitude and silence, I will make thy grave." We shall not linger, but only "tarry for a night," to question a little the mystery that lies hidden beneath these drifting sands.

We look again, and we see shadowy forms coming out of the whirlwind—great actors in history, as well as figures of the imagination. The horizon is filled with moving caravans and marching armies. Ancient conquerors pass this way for centuries from Asia into Africa, and back again, the wave of conquest flowing and reflowing from the valley of the Tigris to the valley of the Nile. As we leave the Land of Goshen, we hear behind us the tramp of the Israelites beginning their march; and as the night closes in, we see in another quarter of the horizon the wise men of the East coming from Arabia, following their guiding star, which leads them to Bethlehem, where Christ was born.

And so the desert which was "dead" becomes "alive;" a whole living world starts up from the sands, and glides into view, appearing suddenly like Arab horsemen, and then vanishing as if it had not been, and leaving no trace in the sands any more than is left by a wreck that sinks in the ocean. But like the sea, it has its passing life, which has a deep human interest. And not only is there a life of the desert, but a literature which is the expression of that life—a history and a poetry, which take their color from these peculiar forms of nature—and even a music of the desert, sung by the camel-drivers, to the slow movement of the caravan, its plaintive cadence keeping time to the tinkling of the bells. 100

It has been one of the problems of physical geographers: What was the use of deserts in the economy of nature? A large part of Africa is covered by deserts. The Libyan Desert reaches to the Sahara, which stretches across the continent. All this seems an utterly waste portion of the earth's surface. The same question has been raised in regard to the sea: Why is it that three-fourths of the globe are covered by water? Perhaps the same answer may be given in both cases. These vast spaces may be the generators and purifiers of the air we breathe—the renovators of our globe's atmosphere.

And the desert has its beauty as well as its utility. It is not all a dead level, a boundless monotony, but is billowy like the sea, with great waves of sand cast up by the wandering winds. The color, of course, is always the same, for there is no green thing to relieve the yellow sand. But nature sometimes produces great effects with few materials. This monotony of color is touched with beauty by the glow of sunset, as the light of day fades over the wide expanse. Sunrise and sunset on the desert have all the simple but grand effects of sunrise and sunset on the ocean. What painter that has visited Egypt has not tried to put on canvas that after-glow on the Nile, which is alike his wonder and his despair? Egypt is one of the favorite countries sought by European artists, who seek to catch that marvellous color which is the effect of its atmosphere. They find many a subject in the desert. With the accessories of life, few as they are, it presents many a scene to attract a painter's eye, and furnishes full scope to his genius. A great artist finds ample material in its bare and naked outlines, relieved by a few solitary figures—the Arab and his tent, or the camel and his rider. Perhaps the scene is simply a few palm trees beside a spring, under whose shade a traveller has laid him down to rest from the noon-tide heat, and beside him are camels feeding! But here is already a picture. With what effect 101 does Gérome give the Prayer in the Desert, with the camel kneeling on the sands, and his rider kneeling beside him, with his face turned towards Mecca; or Death in the Desert, where the poor beast, weary and broken, is abandoned to die, yet murmurs not, but has a look of patience and resignation that is most pathetic, as the vultures are seen hovering in the air, ready to descend on their prey!

A habitat so peculiar as the desert must produce a life as peculiar. It is of necessity a lonely life. The dweller in tents is a solitary man, without any fixed ties, or local habitation. Whoever lives on the desert must live alone, or with few companions, for there is nothing to support existence. It must be also a nomadic life. If the Arab camps, with his flocks and herds, in some green spot beside a spring, yet it is only for a few days, for in that time his sheep and cattle have consumed the scanty herbage, and he must move on to some new resting-place. Thus the life of the desert is a life always in motion. The desert has no settled population, no towns or villages, where men are born, and grow up, and live and die. Its only "inhabitants" are "strangers and pilgrims," that come alone or in caravans, and pitch their tents, and tarry for a night, and are gone.

Such a life induces peculiar habits, and breeds a peculiar class of virtues and vices. Nomadic tribes are almost always robbers, for they have to fight for existence, and it is a desperate struggle. But, on the other hand, their solitary life as well as the command of the prophet, has taught them the virtue of hospitality. Living alone, they feel at times the sore need of the presence of their kind, and welcome the companionship even of strangers. An Arab sheik may live by preying on travellers, but if a wanderer on the desert approaches his tent and asks shelter and protection, he gives it freely. Even though the old chief be a robber, the stranger sleeps in peace and safety, and his entertainer is rewarded by the comfort of seeing a human face and hearing a human voice. 102

To traverse spaces so vast and so desolate would not be possible were it not for that faithful beast of burden which nature has provided. Horses may be used by the Bedouins on their marauding expeditions, but they keep near the borders of the desert, where they can make a dash and fly; but on the long journey across the Great Sahara, by which the outer world communicates with the interior of Africa, no beast could live but the camel, which is truly the ship of the desert. Paley might find an argument for design in the peculiar structure of the camel for its purpose; in its stomach, that can carry water for days, and its foot, which is not small like that of the horse, but broad, to keep the huge animal from sinking in the sands. It serves as a snow-shoe, and bears up both the beast and his rider. Then it is not hard like a horse's hoof, that rings so sharp on the pavement, but soft almost like a lion's paw. And tall as the creature is, he moves with a swinging gait, that is not unpleasant to one accustomed to it, and as he comes down on his soft foot, the Arab mother sits at ease, and her child is lulled to rest almost as if rocked in a cradle.

Thus moving on in these slow and endless marches, what so natural as that the camel-riders should beguile their solitude with song? The lonely heart relieves itself by pouring its loves and its sorrows into the air; and hence come those Arabian melodies, so wild and plaintive and tender, which constitute the music of the desert. Some years since a symphony was produced in Paris, called "The Desert," which created a great sensation, deriving its peculiar charm from its unlikeness to European music. It awakened, as it were, a new sense in those who had been listening all their lives to French and German operas. It seemed to tell—as music only tells—the story of the life of the desert. In listening one could almost see the boundless plain, broken only by the caravan, moving slowly across the waste. He could almost "feel the silence" of that vast solitude, and then faintly in the distance 103 was heard the tinkling of the camel-bells, and the song of the desert rose upon the evening air, as softly as if cloistered nuns were singing their vesper hymns. The novel conception took the fancy of the pleasure seekers of Paris, always eager for a new sensation. The symphony made the fame of the composer, Felicien David, who was thought to have shown a very original genius in the composition of melodies, such as Europe had not heard before. The secret was not discovered until some French travellers in the East, crossing the desert, heard the camel-drivers singing and at once recognized the airs that had so taken the enthusiasm of Paris. They were the songs of the Arabs. The music was born on the desert, and produced such an effect precisely because it was the outburst of a passionate nature brooding in solitude.

Music and poetry go together: the life that produces the one produces the other also. And as there is a music of the desert, so there is a poetry of the desert. Indeed the desert may be almost said to have been the birthplace of poetry. The Book of Job, the oldest poem in the world, older than Homer, and grander than any uninspired composition, was probably written in Arabia, and is full of the imagery of the desert.

But while the mind carols lightly in poetry and music, its deeper musings take the form of Religion. It is easy to see how the life of the desert must act upon a thoughtful and "naturally religious" mind. The absence of outward objects throws it back upon itself; and it broods over the great mystery of existence. Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, when he was

"Alone on the wide, wide sea,"

found that

"So lonely 'twas that God himself

Scarce seemèd there to be."

But in the desert one may say there is nothing but God. If there is little of earth, there is much of heaven. The glory of 104 the desert is at night, when the full moon rises out of the level plain, as out of the sea, and walks the unclouded firmament. And when she retires, then all the heavenly host come forth. The atmosphere is of such exquisite purity, that the stars shine with all their splendor. No vapor rises from the earth, no exhalation obscures the firmament, which seems all aglow with the celestial fires. It was such a sight that kindled the mind of Job, as he looked up from the Arabian deserts three thousand years ago, and saw Orion and the Pleiades keeping their endless march; and as led him to sing of the time "when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."

Is it strange that God should choose such a vast and silent temple as this for the education of those whom He would set apart for his own service? Here the Israelites were led apart to receive the law from the immediate presence of God. The desert was their school, the place of their national education. It separated them from their own history. It drew a long track between them and the bitter past. It was a fit introduction to their new life and their new religion, as to their new country.

In such solitudes God has had the most direct communion with the individual soul. It was in the desert that Moses hid himself in a cleft of the rock while the Lord passed by; that the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind; and from it that John the Baptist came forth, as the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

So in later ages holy men who wished to shun the temptations of cities, that they might lead lives of meditation and prayer, fled to the desert, that they might forget the world and live for God alone. This was one of the favorite retreats of Monasticism in the early Christian centuries. The tombs of the Thebaïd were filled with monks. Convents were built on the cliffs of Mount Sinai that remain to this day.

We do not feel the need of such seclusion and separation 105 from the world, but this passing over the desert sets the mind at work and supplies a theme for religious meditation. Is not life a desert, where, as on the sea, all paths are lost, and the traveller can only keep his course by observations on the stars? And are we not all pilgrims? Do we not all belong to that slow moving caravan, that marches steadily across the waste and disappears in the horizon? Can we not help some poor wanderer who may be lonely and friendless, or who may have faltered by the way; or guide another, if it be only to go before him, and leave our footprints in the sands, that

"A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing may take heart again?"




Suez lies between the desert and the sea, and is the point of departure both for ships and caravans. But the great canal to which it gives its name, has not returned the favor by giving it prosperity. Indeed the country through which it passes derives little benefit from its construction. Before it was opened, Egypt was on the overland route to India, from which it derived a large revenue. All passengers had to disembark at Alexandria and cross by railroad to Suez; while freight had to be unshipped at the one city and reshipped at the other, and thus pay tribute to both. Now ships pass directly from the Mediterranean into the canal, and from the canal into the Red Sea, so that the Englishman who embarks at Southampton, need not set his foot on the soil of Egypt. Thus it is not Egypt but England that profits by the opening of the Suez Canal; while Egypt really suffers by the completion of a work which is of immense benefit to the commerce of the world.

Though the Suez Canal is an achievement of modern times, yet the idea is not modern, nor indeed the first execution. It was projected from almost the earliest period of history, and was begun under the Pharaohs, and was at one time completed, though not, as now, solely for the passage of ships, but also as a defence, a gigantic moat, which might serve as a barrier against invasions from Asia. 107

There is nothing in Suez to detain a traveller, and with the morning we were sailing out in one of the native boats, before a light wind, to the great ship lying in the harbor, which was to take us to India. We had, indeed, a foretaste, or rather foresight, of what we were soon to look upon in the farthest East, as we saw some huge elephants moving along the quay; but these were not familiar inhabitants, but had just been disembarked from a ship arrived only the day before from Bombay—a present from the Viceroy of India to the Viceroy of Egypt.

Once on board ship I was as in mine own country, for now, for the first time in many months, did I hear constantly the English language. We had been so long in Europe, and heard French, German, Italian, Greek and Turkish; and Arabic in Egypt; that at first I started to hear my own mother tongue. I could not at once get accustomed to it, but called to the waiter "garçon," and was much surprised that he answered in English. But it was very pleasant to come back to the speech of my childhood. Henceforth English will carry me around the globe. It is the language of the sea, and of "the ends of the earth;" and it seems almost as if the good time were coming when the whole earth should be of one language and of one speech.

And now we are on the Red Sea, one of the historical seas of the world. Not far below the town of Suez is supposed to be the spot where the Israelites were hemmed in between the mountains and the sea; where Moses bade the waves divide, and the fleeing host rushed in between the uplifted walls, feeling that, if they perished, the waters were more merciful than their oppressors; while behind them came the chariots of their pursuers.

It was long before we lost sight of Egypt. On our right was the Egyptian coast, still in view, though growing dimmer on the horizon; and as we sat on deck at evening the gorgeous sunsets flamed over those shores, as they did 108 on the Nile, as if reluctant to leave the scene of so much glory.

On the other side of the sea stretched the Peninsula of Sinai, with its range of rugged mountains, among which the eye sought the awful summit from which God gave the law.

This eastern side of the Red Sea has been the birthplace of religions. Half way down the coast is Jhidda, the port of Mecca. Thus Islam was born not far from the birthplace of Judaism, of which in many features it is a close imitation.

I have asked many times, What gave the name to the Red Sea? Certainly it is not the color of the water, which is blue as the sea anywhere. It is said that there is a phosphorescent glow, given by a marine insect, which at night causes the waters to sparkle with a faint red light. Others say it is from the shores, which being the borders of the desert, have its general sandy red, or yellow, appearance. I remember years ago, when sailing along the southern coast of Wales, a gentleman, pointing to some red-banked hills, said they reminded him of the shores of the Red Sea.

But whether they have given it its name or not, these surrounding deserts have undoubtedly given it its extreme heat, from which it has become famous as "the hottest place in the world." The wind blowing off from these burning sands, scorches like a sirocco; nor is the heat much tempered by the coolness of the sea—for indeed the water itself becomes heated to such a degree as to be a serious impediment to the rapid condensation of steam.

We began to feel the heat immediately after leaving Suez. The very next day officers of the ship appeared in white linen pantaloons, which seemed to me a little out of season; but I soon found that they were wiser than I, especially as the heat increased from day to day as we got more into the tropics. Then, to confess the truth, they sometimes appeared 109 on deck in the early morning in the most negligé attire. At first I was a little shocked to see, not only officers of the ship, but officers of the army, of high rank, coming on deck after their baths barefoot; but I soon came to understand how they should be eager, when they were almost burning with fever, to be relieved of even the slightest addition to weight or warmth. In the cabin, punkas, long screens, were hung over the tables, and kept swinging all day long. The deck was hung with double awnings to keep off the sun; and here the "old Indians" who had made this voyage before, and knew how to take their comfort in the hot climate, were generally stretched out in their reclining bamboo-chairs, with a cigar in one hand and a novel in the other.

The common work of the ship was done by Lascars, from India, as they can stand the heat much better than English sailors. They are docile and obedient, and under the training of English officers make excellent seamen.

But we must not complain, for they tell us our voyage has been a very cool one. The thermometer has never been above 88 degrees, which however, considering that this is midwinter, is doing pretty well!

If such be the heat in January, what must it be in July? Then it is fairly blistering; the thermometer rises to 110 and 112 degrees in the shade; men stripped of clothing to barely a garment to cover them, are panting with the heat; driven from the deck, they retreat to the lower part of the ship, to find a place to breathe; sometimes in despair, the captain tells me, they turn the ship about, and steam a few miles in the opposite direction, to get a breath of air; and yet, with all precautions, he adds that it is not an infrequent thing, that passengers overpowered sink under a sunstroke or apoplexy.

Such heat would make the voyage to India one of real suffering, and of serious exposure, were it not for the admirable 110 ships in which it can be made. But these of the Peninsular and Oriental company are about as perfect as anything that swims the seas. We were fortunate in hitting upon the largest and best of the fleet, the Peshawur. Accustomed as we have been of late to the smaller steamers on the Mediterranean, she seems of enormous bulk, and is of great strength as well as size; and being intended for hot climates, is constructed especially for coolness and ventilation. The state-rooms are much larger than in most sea-going steamers, and though intended for three persons, as the ship was not crowded (there were berths for 170 passengers, while we had but 34, just one-fifth the full complement) we had each a whole state-room to ourselves. There were bath-rooms in ample supply, and we took our baths every morning as regularly as on land.

On the Peshawur, as on all English ships, the order and discipline were admirable. Every man knew his place, and attended to his duty. Everything was done silently, and yet so regularly that one felt that there was a sharp eye in every corner of the ship; that there was a vigilant watch night and day, and this gave us such a sense of safety, that we lay down and rose up with a feeling of perfect security.

Besides, the officers, from the captain down, not only took good care for the safety of our lives, but did everything for our comfort. They tried to make us feel at home, and were never so well pleased as when they saw us all pleasantly occupied; some enjoying games, and others listening to music, when some amateur was playing on the piano, at times accompanied by a dozen manly and womanly voices. Music at sea helps greatly to beguile the tedium of a voyage. Often the piano was brought on deck, at which an extemporized choir practised the hymns for public service; among which there was one that always recurred, and that none can forget: 111

"Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,

Who bid'st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep:

Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea."

And when the Sunday morning came and the same prayers were read which they had been accustomed to hear in England, many who listened felt that, whatever oceans they might cross, here was a tie that bound them to their island home, and to the religion of their fathers.

On the morning of the sixth day we passed the island of Perim, which guards the Gates of the Red Sea, and during the day passed many islands, and were in full sight of the Arabian coast, and at the evening touched at Aden. Here the heat reaches the superlative. In going down the Red Sea, one may use all degrees of comparison—hot, hotter, hottest—and the last is Aden. It is a barren point of rock and sand, within twelve degrees of the Equator, and the town is actually in the crater of an extinct volcano, into which the sun beats down with the heat of Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. But the British Government holds it, as it commands the entrance to the Red Sea, and has fortified it, and keeps a garrison here. However it mercifully sends few English soldiers to such a spot, but supplies the place chiefly with native regiments from India. All the officers hold the place in horror, counting it a very purgatory, from which it is Paradise to be transferred to India.

But from this point the great oppression of the heat ceased. Rounding this rock of Aden, we no longer bore southward (which would have taken us along the Eastern coast of Africa, to the island of Zanzibar, the point of departure for Livingstone to explore the interior, and of Stanley to find him), but turned to the East, and soon met the Northeast 112 monsoon, which, blowing in our faces, kept us comparatively cool all the way across the Indian Ocean.

And now our thoughts began to be busy with the strange land which we were soon to see, a land to which most of those on board belonged, and of which they were always ready to converse. Strangers to each other, we soon became acquainted, and exchanged our experiences of travel. Beside me at the table sat a barrister from Bombay, and next to him three merchants of that city, who, leaving their families in England, were returning to pursue their fortunes in India. One had been a member of the Governor's Council, and all were familiar with the politics and the business of that great Empire. There was also a missionary of the Free Church of Scotland, who, after ten years' service, had been allowed a year and a half to recruit in the mother country, and was now returning to his field of labor in Bombay, with whom I had many long talks about the religions of India and the prospects of missions. There was a fine old gentleman who had made his fortune in Australia, to which he was returning with his family after a visit to England.

The military element, of course, was very prominent. A large proportion of the passengers were connected in some way with the army, officers returning to their regiments, or officers' wives returning to their husbands. Of course those who live long in India, have many experiences to relate; and it was somewhat exciting to hear one describe the particulars of a tiger hunt—how the game of all kind was driven in from a circuit of miles around by beaters, and by elephants trained for the work; how the deer and lesser animals fled frightened by, while the hunter, bent on royal game, disdained such feeble prey, and every man reserved his fire, sitting in his howdah on the back of an elephant till at last a magnificent Bengal tiger sprang into view, and as the balls rained on his sides, with a tremendous bound he fell at the feet of the hunters; or to hear a Major who had been in 113 India during the Mutiny, describe the blowing away of the Sepoys from the mouths of cannon; with what fierce pride, like Indian warriors at the stake, they shrank not from the trial, but even when not bound, stood unmoved before the guns, till they were blown to pieces, their legs and arms and mangled breasts scattered wide over the field.

There was a surgeon in the Bengal Staff Corps, Dr. Bellew, who had travelled extensively in the interior of Asia, attached to several missions of the Government, and had published a volume, entitled "From the Indus to the Tigris." He gave me some of his experiences in Afghanistan, among the men of Cabul, and in Persia. Three years since he was attached to the mission of Sir Douglas Forsyth to Kashgar and Yarkund. This was a secret embassy of the government to Yakoob Beg, the Tartar chief, who by his courage as a soldier had established his power in those distant regions of Central Asia. In carrying out this mission, the party crossed the Himalayas at a height far greater than the top of Mont Blanc. Our fellow traveller gave us some fearful pictures of the desolation of those snowy wastes, as well as some entertaining ones of the strange manners of some parts of High Asia. He passed through Little Thibet, where prevails the singular custom of polyandry—instead of one man having many wives, one woman may have many husbands, although they cannot be of different families. She can marry half a dozen brothers at once, but must not extend her household into another family. He was now bound for Nepaul, under the shadow of the Himalayas, being ordered to report at once to the Maharajah, who is preparing to receive the Prince of Wales, and to entertain him with the grandest tiger hunt ever known in India.

With such variety of company, and such talk to enliven the hours, as we sat on deck at twilight, or by moonlight—for we had the full moon on the Indian Ocean—the days did 114 not seem long, and we were almost taken by surprise as we approached the end of our voyage.

On the afternoon of the twelfth day from Suez we were nearing our destined port, and eyes and glasses were turned in that direction; but it was not till the sun was setting that his light shone full on the Ghauts, the range of mountains that line the western coast of India—steps, as their name implies, to the high table-land of the interior. Presently as the darkness deepened, the revolving light of the lighthouse shot across the deep; signal guns from the city announced the arrival of the mail from England; rows of lamps shining for miles round the bay lighted up the waters and the encircling shore; and, there was India!




Never did travellers open their eyes with more of wonder and curiosity than we, as we awoke the next morning and went on deck and turned to the unaccustomed shore. The sun had risen over the Ghauts, and now cast his light on the islands, covered with cocoanut palms, and on the forest of shipping that lay on the tranquil waters. Here were ships from all parts of the world, not only from the Mediterranean and from England, but from every part of Asia and Africa, and from Australia. A few weeks before had been witnessed here a brilliant sight at the landing of the Prince of Wales. A long arched way of trellis work, still hung with faded wreaths, marked the spot where the future Emperor of India first set foot upon its soil. Our ship, which had anchored off the mouth of the harbor, now steamed up to her moorings, a tug took us off to the Mazagon Bunder, the landing place of the Peninsular and Oriental Company, where we mounted a long flight of granite steps to the quay—and were in India.

Passing through the Custom House gates, we were greeted not by the donkey-boys of Egypt, but by a crowd of barefooted and barelegged Hindoos, clad in snowy white, and with mountainous turbans on their heads, who were ambitious of the honor of driving us into the city. The native carriage (or gharri, as it is called) is not a handsome equipage. It is a mere box, oblong in shape, set on wheels, having latticed windows like a palanquin, to admit the air and shut out the sun. Mounting into such a "State carriage," our 116 solemn Hindoo gave rein to his steed, and we trotted off into Bombay. As our destination was Watson's Hotel, in the English quarter at the extreme end of the city, we traversed almost its whole extent. The streets seemed endless. On and on we rode for miles, till we were able to realize that we were in the second city in the British empire—larger than any in Great Britain except London—larger than Liverpool or Glasgow, or Manchester or Birmingham.

Of course the population is chiefly native, and this it is which excites my constant wonder. As I ride about I ask myself, Am I on the earth, or in the moon? Surely this must be some other planet than the one that I have known before. I see men as trees walking, but they are not of any familiar form or speech. Perhaps it is because we are on the other side of the world, and everything is turned topsy-turvy, and men are walking on their heads. We may have to adopt the Darwinian theory of the origin of man; for these seem to be of another species, to belong to another department of the animal kingdom. That old Hindoo that I see yonder, sitting against the wall, with his legs curled up under him, seems more like a chimpanzee than a man. He has a way of sitting on his heels (a posture which would be impossible for a European, but which he will keep for hours), which is more like an animal than a human creature.

Truly we have never been in such a state of bewilderment since we began our travels, as since we landed in Bombay. Constantinople seemed strange, and Egypt stranger still; but India is strangest of all. The streets are swarming with life, as a hive swarms with bees. The bazaars are like so many ant-hills, but the creatures that go in and out are not like any race that we have seen before. They are not white like Europeans, nor black like Africans, nor red like our American Indians; but are pure Asiatics, of a dark-brown color, the effect of which is the greater, as they are generally clad in the garments which nature gives them. The laboring class 117 go half naked, or more than half. It is only the house-servants that wear anything that can be called a costume. The coolies, or common laborers, have only a strip of cloth around their loins, which they wear for decency, for in this climate they scarcely need any garment for warmth. One thing which is never omitted is the turban, or in its place a thick blanket, to shield the head from the direct rays of the sun. But there is nothing to hide the swarthy breast or limbs. Those of a better condition, who do put on clothing, show the Oriental fondness for gorgeous apparel by having the richest silk turbans and flowing robes. The women find a way to show their feminine vanity, being tricked out in many colors, dark red, crimson and scarlet, with yellow and orange and green and blue—the mingling of which produces a strange effect as one rides through the bazaars and crowded streets, which gleam with all the colors of the rainbow. The effect of this tawdry finery is heightened by the gewgaws which depend from different parts of their persons. Earrings are not sufficiently conspicuous for a Hindoo damsel, who has a ring of gold and pearl hung in her nose; which is considered a great addition to female beauty. Heavy bracelets of silver also adorn her wrists and ankles. Almost every woman who shows herself in the street, though of the lowest condition, and barefoot, still gratifies her pride by huge silver anklets clasping her naked feet.

But these Asiatic faces, strange as they are, would not be unattractive but for artificial disfigurements—if men did not chew the betel nut, which turns the lips to a brilliant red, and did not have their foreheads striped with coarse pigments, which are the badges of their different castes!

Imagine a whole city crowded with dark skinned men and women thus dressed—or not dressed—half naked on the one hand, or bedizened like harlequins on the other, walking about, or perchance riding in little carriages drawn by oxen—a small breed that trot off almost as fast as the donkeys we 118 had in Cairo—and one may have some idea of the picturesque appearance of the streets of Bombay.

We are becoming accustomed to the manners and customs of this eastern world. We never sit down to dinner but with the punka swinging over us, and the "punka-walla," the coolie who swings it, is a recognized institution. In the hot months it is kept swinging all night, and Europeans sleep under it. These things strike us strangely at first, but we soon get used to these tropical devices, and in fact rather like them. In a few days we have become quite Oriental. To confess the truth, there are some things here in the East that are not at all disagreeable to the natural man, especially the devices for coolness and comfort, and the extreme deference to Europeans, which we begin to accept as naturally belonging to us.

At first I was surprised and amused at the manners of the people. It was a new sensation to be in this Asiatic atmosphere, to be surrounded and waited upon by soft-footed Hindoos, who glided about noiselessly like cats, watching every look, eager to anticipate every wish before they heard the word of command. I was never the object of such reverence before. Every one addressed me as "Sahib." I did not know at first what this meant, but took it for granted that it was a title of respect—an impression confirmed by the deferential manner of the attendants. I could not walk through the corridor of the hotel without a dozen servants rising to their feet, who remained standing till I had passed. I was a little taken aback when a turbaned Oriental, in flowing robe, approached me with an air of profound reverence, bending low, as if he would prostrate himself at my feet. If he desired to present a petition to my august majesty (which was, probably, that I would buy a cashmere shawl), he bowed himself almost to the ground, and reached down his hand very low, and then raising it, touched his forehead, as if he would take up the dust of the earth and cast it on his head, 119 in token that he was unworthy to enter into such an awful presence. I never knew before how great a being I was. There is nothing like going far away from home, to the other side of the world, among Hindoos or Hottentots, to be fully appreciated.

After a little experience, one learns to accept these Hindoo salaams and obeisances. Now, when I walk down the passages of the hotel, and snowy turbans rise on either side in token of homage, I bow in acknowledgment, though very slightly, so as not to concede a particle of my dignity, or encourage any familiarity. When I open my door in the morning, I find half a dozen coolies in the passage, who have curled up on mats and slept there all night, as Napoleon's Mameluke slept before his master's door. It gives one a sense of dignity and importance to be thus served and guarded and defended! I suspect all of us have a little (or a good deal) of the Asiatic in our composition, and could easily play the pasha and drop into these soft Eastern ways, and find it not unpleasant to recline on a divan, and be waited on by dusky slaves!

We find that we are in a tropical climate by the heat that oppresses us. Although it is midwinter, we find it prudent as well as pleasant to remain indoors in the middle of the day (time which is very precious for writing), and make our excursions in the morning or evening.

Morning in the tropics is delightful. There is a dewy freshness in the air. Rising at daylight we take a small open carriage—a kind of "one horse shay"—for our ride. It has but one seat, but the Hindoo driver, nimble as a cat, crouches at our feet, with his legs dangling over the side in front of the wheels, and thus mounted we gallop off gayly.

One of our morning excursions was to the Flower Market, where the fruits and flowers of the country are displayed with truly tropical profusion. The building, designed with English taste, is of great extent, surrounding a spacious 120 court, which is laid out like a garden, with fountains and ferns, and flowering shrubs and creepers growing luxuriantly. Here are offered for sale all kinds of poultry and birds, parrots, and even monkeys. The Flower Market is especially brilliant, as flowers are the customary offerings at temples. They are very cheap. Five cents bought a large bunch of roses. White jessamines and yellow marigolds are wrought into wreaths and garlands for their festivities. The fruits we liked less than the flowers. They were very tempting to the eye, but too rich for our appetite. The famous mango cloyed us with its sweetness. Indeed, I made the observation here, which I had to repeat afterwards in Java, that the tropical fruits, though large and luscious, had not the delicate flavor of our Northern fruits. A good New Jersey peach would have been far sweeter to my taste than the ripest orange or mango, or the longest string of bananas.

In the evening we ride out to Malabar Hill, or go to the public gardens which English taste has laid out in different parts of the city. Although Bombay is a city of Hindoos, yet the stamp of English rule is everywhere impressed upon it. Like the cities of Great Britain, it is thoroughly governed. The hand of a master is seen in its perfect police, its well ordered and well lighted streets. There are signs of its being gained by conquest and held by military power. The English quarter is still called the Fort, being on the site of an old fortress, the ramparts of which are all swept away, and in their place are wide streets (indeed too wide for shade), and a number of public buildings—Government offices, the Postoffice, and the Telegraph Building, and the University—which would be an ornament to any city in England. Here English taste comes in to add to its natural beauty in the laying out of open squares. Our windows at the Hotel look out upon the Esplanade, a large parade ground, the very spot where the Sepoys were shot away from the guns after the mutiny, and upon the sea, from which comes at evening 121 a soft, delicious air from the Indian ocean. It is a pretty sight to go here at sunset, when the band is playing and there is a great turnout of carriages, bringing the fashion and wealth of Bombay to listen to the music and inhale the fresh breezes from the sea, that no doubt are sweeter to many in that they seem to come from their beloved England. In the crowd of well dressed people wealthy Parsees (distinguished by their high hats), and Hindoos by their turbans, mingle with English officers, and the children of all run about together on the lawn. My companion noticed particularly the Parsee children, whose dresses were gay with many colors—little fellows shining in pink trousers, blue shirts, green vests, and scarlet caps! Others had satin trousers and vests of some bright color, and over all white muslin or lace trimmings. The effect of such a variety of colors was as if parterres of flowers were laid out on the smooth shaven lawn. In another part of the city the Victoria Gardens are set out like a Botanical Garden, with all manner of plants and trees, especially with an endless variety of palms, under which crowds saunter along the avenues, admiring the wonders of tropical vegetation, and listening to the music that fills the evening air.

The environs of Bombay are very beautiful. Few cities have a more delightful suburb than Malabar Hill, where the English merchant, after the business of the day is over, retreats from the city to enjoy a home which, though Indian without, is English within. Hundreds of bungalows are clustered on these eminences, shaded with palms and embowered in tropical foliage, with steep roofs, always thatched as a better protection from the sun. Here the occupants sit at evening on the broad verandahs, stretched in their long bamboo chairs, enjoying the cool air that comes in from the sea, and talk of England or of America.

There are not many Americans in Bombay, although in one way the city is, or was, closely connected with our country. 122 Nowhere was the effect of our civil war more felt than in India, as it gave a great impetus to its cotton production. Under the sudden and powerful stimulus, Bombay started up into an artificial prosperity. Fortunes were made rapidly. The close of the war brought a panic from which it has not yet recovered. But the impulse given has remained, and I am told that there is at this moment more cotton grown in India than ever before, although the fall in prices has cut off the great profits. But the cost of transportation is much less, as the railroads constructed within a few years afford the means of bringing it to market, where before it had to be drawn slowly over the mountains in ox-carts. This flow of cotton to the seaports has been turned to account by the erection of cotton mills (several of which have been started here in Bombay), which, under the direction of Englishmen, and having the double advantage of native cotton and native labor, may yet supplant English fabrics in the markets of India.

Though there are few Americans (except the missionaries) here, yet there is one who has all the enterprise of his countrymen, Mr. Kittredge, who came out to India many years ago, and is now the head of the old house of Stearns, Hobart & Co. He has introduced that peculiarly American institution, the street railway—or tramway, as it is called here—which is a great comfort in moving about the city, where transportation before was chiefly by little ox-carts. The cars run smoothly, and as they are open at the sides are delightfully cool. The Hindoos, though slow in adopting new ideas or new ways, take to these as an immense convenience. Not the least good effect is the pressure which they bring to bear on caste, by forcing those of different castes to sit side by side!

A very singular people, found in Bombay, and nowhere else in India, are the Parsees, who differ from the Hindoos both in race and religion. They are followers of Zoroaster, the philosopher of Persia, from which they were driven out centuries 123 ago by the merciless followers of the Prophet, and took refuge in Western India, and being, as a class, of superior intelligence and education, they have risen to a high position. They are largely the merchants of Bombay, and among them are some of its wealthiest citizens, whose beautiful houses, surrounded with gardens, line the road to Parell, the residence of the Governor. They are fire-worshippers, adoring it as the principle of life. Morning and evening they may be seen uncovering their heads, and turning reverently to the rising or the setting sun, and offering their adoration to the great luminary, which they regard as the source of all life on earth. As I have seen them on the seashore, turning their faces to the setting sun, and lifting their hands as if in prayer, I have thought, that if this be idolatry, it is at least not so degrading as that of the Hindoos around them, for if they bow to a material object, it is at least the most glorious which they see in nature. The more intelligent of them, however, explain that it is not the sun itself they worship, but only regard it as the brightest symbol and manifestation of the Invisible Deity. But they seem to have an idolatrous reverence for fire, and keep a lamp always burning in their houses. It is never suffered to go out day nor night, from year to year. The same respect which they show to fire, they show also to the other elements—earth, air, and water.

A revolting application of their principles is seen in their mode of disposing of the dead. They cannot burn them, as do the Hindoos, lest the touch of death should pollute the flames; nor can they bury them in the earth, nor in the sea, for earth and water and air are all alike sacred. They therefore expose the bodies of their dead to be devoured by birds of the air. Outside of Bombay, on Malabar Hill, are three or four circular towers—called The Towers of Silence, which are enclosed by a high wall to keep observers at a distance. When a Parsee dies, his body is conveyed to the 124 gates, and there received by the priests, by whom it is exposed on gratings constructed for the purpose.

Near at hand, perched in groves of palms, are the vultures. We saw them there in great numbers. As soon as a funeral procession approaches, they scent their prey, and begin to circle in the air; and no sooner is a body uncovered, and left by the attendants, than a cloud of black wings settles down upon it, and a hundred horned beaks are tearing at the flesh. Such are their numbers and voracity, that in a few minutes—so we are told—every particle is stripped from the bones, which are then slid down an inclined plane into a deep pit, where they mingle with common clay.

Compared with this, the Hindoo mode of disposing of the dead, by burning, seems almost like Christian burial. Yet it is done in a mode which is very offensive. In returning from Malabar Hill one evening, along the beautiful drive around the bay, we noticed a number of furnace-like openings, where fires were burning, from which proceeded a sickening smell, and were told that this was the burning of the bodies of the Hindoos!

This mode of disposing of the dead may be defended on grounds of health, especially in great cities. But, at any rate, I wish there was nothing worse to be said of the Hindoos than their mode of treating the forms from which life has departed. But their religion is far more cruel to the living than to the dead.

To one who has never been in a Pagan country, that which is most new and strange is its idolatry. Bombay is full of temples, which at certain hours are crowded with worshippers. Here they flock every morning to perform their devotions. There is nothing like the orderly congregation gathered in a Christian house of worship, sitting quietly in their places, and listening to a sermon. The people come and go at will, attending to their devotions, as they would to any matter of business. A large part of their "worship" 125 consists in washing themselves. With the Hindoos as with the Mohammedans, bathing is a part of their religion. The temple grounds generally enclose a large tank, into which they plunge every morning, and come up, as they believe, clean from the washing. At the temple of Momba Davi (the god who gives name to Bombay), we watched these purifications and other acts of worship. Within the enclosure, beside the temple filled with hideous idols, there was the sacred cow (which the people would consider it a far greater crime to kill than to kill a Christian) which chewed her cud undisturbed, though not with half so much content as if she had been in a field of sweet-scented clover; and there stood the peepul tree, the sacred tree of India (a species of banyan), round which men and women were walking repeating their prayers, and leaving flowers as offerings at its foot. This latter custom is not peculiar to Pagan countries. In Christian as well as in heathen lands flowers are laid on the altar, as if their beauty were grateful to the Unseen Eye, and their perfume a kind of incense to the object of devotion. Inside the enclosure men were being washed and shaved (on their heads as well as on their faces), and painted on their foreheads (as Catholics might be with the sign of the cross) to mark the god they worship. And not only in the temples, but along the streets, in the houses, which were open to the view of passers-by, people were taking plentiful ablutions, almost a full bath, and making their toilet, quite unembarrassed by the presence of strangers.

These observances (if divested of any religious value) are not to be altogether condemned. The habit of frequent bathing is very useful in a sanitary point of view, especially in this hot climate. But that which most excites our admiration is the scrupulous regularity of the Hindoos in their worship. They have to "do their pooja" (that is, make their offerings and perform their devotions) before they go to their work, or even partake of food! Here is 126 an example of religious fidelity worthy of Christian imitation.

The religious ideas of the Hindoos show themselves in other ways, which at least challenge our respect for their consistency. In their eyes all life is sacred, the life of beast and bird, nay, of reptile and insect, as well as of man. To carry out this idea they have established a Hospital for Animals, which is one of the institutions of Bombay. It is on a very extensive scale, and presents a spectacle such as I do not believe can be seen anywhere else in the world. Here, in an enclosure covering many acres, in sheds, or stables, or in the open grounds, as may best promote their recovery, are gathered the lame, the halt, and the blind, not of the human species, but of the animal world—cattle and horses, sheep and goats, dogs and cats, rabbits and monkeys, and beasts and birds of every description. Even poor little monkeys forgot to be merry, and looked very solemn as they sat on their perch. The cows, sacred as they were, were yet not beyond the power of disease, and had a most woe-begone look. Long rows of stables were filled with broken-down horses, spavined and ring-boned, with ribs sticking out of their sides, or huge sores on their flanks, dripping with blood. In one pen were a number of kittens, that mewed and cried for their mothers, though they had a plentiful supply of milk for their poor little emaciated bodies. The Hindoos send out carts at night and pick them up wherever they have been cast into the street. Rabbits, whom no man would own, have here a snug warren made for them, and creep in and out with a feeling of safety and comfort. In a large enclosure were some hundred dogs, more wretched-looking than the dogs of Constantinople—"whelps and curs of low degree." These poor creatures had been so long the companions of man that, ill-treated as they were, starved and kicked, they still apparently longed for human society, and as soon as they saw us they seemed to recognize us as their deliverers, 127 and set up a howling and yelping, and leaped against the bars of their prison house, as if imploring us to give them liberty.

And here is a collection of birds to fill an extensive aviary, though in their present condition they do not look exactly like birds of Paradise. There are not only "four black crows," but more than any farmer would like to see in his wheat field (for India is the land of crows). Tall cranes, that had been wont to step with long legs by the marshy brink of rivers, here were bandaged and splintered till they could walk once more. Broken-winged seagulls, that could no more sweep over the boundless sea, free as its own waves, were nursed till they could fly again.

The spectacle thus presented was half touching and half ludicrous. One cannot but respect the Hindoo's regard for life, as a thing not to be lightly and wantonly destroyed. And yet they carry it to an extent that is absurd. They will not take the life of animals for food, nor even of creatures that are annoying or dangerous to themselves. Many will not crush the insects that buzz around them and sting them, nor kill a cobra that crawls into their houses, even when it threatens to bite them or their children. It has been said that they even nurse serpents, and when recovered, turn them loose into the jungle; but of this we saw no evidence. But certainly many wretched creatures, whose existence is not worth keeping, which it were a mercy to let die, are here rescued and brought back to life.

While walking through these grounds in company with a couple of missionaries, I thought how much better these animals were cared for than some men. I was thinking of some of our broken-down ministers at home, who, after serving their people faithfully for a whole generation, are at last sent adrift without ceremony, like an old horse turned out by the roadside to die! What lives of drudgery and toil do such ministers lead! They are "beasts of burden," more than any 128 beast of the field. And when their working days are over, can they not be cared for as well as the Hindoos care for old horses and camels? If only these shattered wrecks (and magnificent wrecks some of them are) were towed into port and allowed to rest in tranquil waters; or (to change the figure) if these old veterans were housed and warmed and fed and nursed as carefully as the Hindoos nurse their broken-down animals, we should have fewer of those instances of cruel neglect which we sometimes hear of to our sorrow and shame!

Of the antiquities of India, one of the most notable is found here in the Caves of Elephanta, which are on an island lying off the harbor. We set apart a day to this visit, which we made with a couple of Americans and a couple of Englishmen, the latter of whom we met first in Bombay, but who were to keep us company a large part of our journey around the world. We were to embark at the Apollo Bunder, and while waiting here for our boat (a steam launch which is used for this purpose), a snake-charmer desired to entertain us with the dexterous manner in which he handled cobras, taking them up like kittens, coiling them round his neck, and tossing them about in a very playful and affectionate manner. No doubt their fangs had been completely extracted before he indulged in these endearments. A very cruel form of sport was to throw one on the ground, and let it be set upon by a mangoose, a small animal like a weasel, that is not poisoned by the bite of serpents, and attacks them without hesitation. One of these the man carried in a bag for the purpose. As soon as let loose, the little creature flew at the snake spitefully, as a terrier dog would at a rat, and seized it by the head, and bit it again and again with its sharp teeth, and left it covered with blood. As we expressed our disgust at this cruelty, the juggler assured us that the deceitful reptile was not dead (in fact as soon as laid on the ground it began to wriggle), and that he would take it by the tail and 129 hold it up, and pour water on its head, and it would come all right again. He did not say, but no doubt thought, "and will be all ready for torture when the next American or Englishman comes along."

By this time the steam launch had come round to the Bunder, and we got on board. It was a little mite of a vessel, just big enough for the half dozen of us, with a steam boiler not much larger than a teapot, that wheezed as if it had the asthma. But it did its work well, and away we shot swiftly across the beautiful bay. The island of Elephanta is seven miles from the city, and takes its name from a gigantic statue of an elephant that once stood upon its shore. Landing here, we found ourselves at the foot of a rocky hill, which we mounted by several hundred steps, and stood at the entrance of a gigantic cave or cavern cut into the hill-side, with a lofty ceiling, pillared like a temple. The main hall, as it might be called, runs back a hundred and thirty feet into the solid rock.

The first thing that struck me on entering was the resemblance to the temples of Egypt. Though in size and extent it does not approach the ruins of Karnak, yet one recognizes the same massive architecture in this temple, which is literally "cut out of a mountain," its roof the overhanging cliff, supported by rows of heavy columns.

The resemblance to Egypt appears also in the symbol of divinity and the objects of worship; the sacred bull in one country answering to the sacred cow in the other; and the serpent, the same hooded cobra, rearing its head on the front of the Temples of Thebes, and in the Caves of Elephanta.

At the end of the great hall are the objects of worship in three colossal images of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. This is the Hindoo Trinity, and the constant recurrence of these figures in their mythology shows how the idea of a Trinity pervaded other ancient religions besides our own. It is a question for scholars, whence came the original conception of this 130 threefold personality in the Divine Being, whether from revelation, or from a tradition as old as the human race.

The faces are Egyptian—immobile like the Sphinx, with no expression of eagerness or desire, but only of calm and eternal repose. Such was the blessedness of the gods, and such the beatitude sought by their worshippers.

The age of the Caves of Elephanta is not known, but they must be of a great antiquity. For many centuries this rock-temple has been the resort of millions of worshippers. Generation after generation have the poor people of India crossed these waters to this sacred island, and climbed wearily up this hill as if they were climbing towards heaven.

That such a religion should have lived for thousands of years, and be living still (for the worship of Brahma and Vishnu and Shiva is still the religion of India), is a reflection that gives one but little hope for the future of the human race.




We had been in Bombay a week, and began to feel quite at home, when we had to leave. A man who undertakes to go around the world, must not stop too long in the soft places. He must be always on the march, or ready to start at the tap of the drum. We had a long journey before us, to the North of India, and could not linger by the way. So we set out just at evening. Much of the travelling in India is at night, to avoid the heat of the day. The sun was setting over the waters as we moved slowly out of the station at Bombay, and sweeping around the shores, caught our last glimpse of the Western sea, and then rushed off for the mountains.

"You'll need to take beds with you," said our friends, foreseeing that we might have to lie down in rough places. So we procured for each of us what is called a resai, a well-stuffed coverlet, which answered the purpose of a light mattress. There are no sleeping-cars in India; but the first-class carriages have generally a sofa on either side, which may be turned into a sort of couch. On these sofas, having first secured a whole compartment, we spread our resais, with pillows on which to rest our weary heads, and stretch ourselves "to sleep—perchance to dream." But the imagination is so busy that sleep comes but slowly. I often lie awake for hours, and find a great peace in this constant wakefulness. 132

It was quite dark when we found ourselves climbing the Ghauts (what in California would be called the Coast Range), a chain of mountains not very high, but which separates the coast from the table-land of the interior. As the train moved more slowly, we perceived that we were drawing up a heavy incline. This slow motion soothes one to slumber, and at length we closed our eyes, and when the morning broke, found that we had passed the summit, and were rushing on over an open country, not unlike our Western prairies. These were the Plains of India—a vast plateau, broken here and there, but preserving its general character across the whole peninsula from Bombay to Calcutta, and North to the Himalayas.

In this month of January, these plains are without verdure to give them beauty. The trees keep their foliage, and here and there is a broad-spreading banyan, or a mango grove, with its deep shade. But we miss the fresh green grass and the flowers that come only with the Spring. Landscapes which are not diversified in surface by hills and valleys are only relieved from monotony by varieties of color. These are wanting now, and hence the vast plain is but "a gray and melancholy waste" like the sea. We visit India in winter because the summer would be too oppressive. But in choosing this season, we have to sacrifice that full glory when nature comes forth in all the richness of tropical vegetation. It is in the rainy season that the earth bursts suddenly into bloom. Then the dead plain, so bleak and bare, in a few days is covered with a carpet of green, and decked with innumerable flowers. But there are drawbacks to that gorgeous time and that prodigality of nature. With the bursting into light of the vegetable world, the insect world also comes forth. All the insects that buzz and sting, fill the summer air; and then the reptile world creeps abroad. Out of millions of holes, where they have slept all winter long, crawl cobras and other deadly serpents, and all slimy things. 133 On the whole, therefore, I am content to see India in its sombre dress, and be spared some other attendants of this tropical world.

Nor is there much animal life to give animation to the scene. A few cattle are grazing here and there. Now a deer startled looks up, as we go by, or a monkey goes leaping across the fields, but not a wild beast of any kind is seen—not even a wild-cat or a jackal. As for birds, storks are at home in India as much as in Holland. Red flamingoes haunt

"The plashy brink, or marge of river wide,"

while on the broad open plain the birds most seen are crows! They are very tame, and quite familiar with the rest of the animal creation, a favorite perch being the backs of cows or buffaloes, where they light without resistance, and make themselves at home. They are said to be very useful as scavengers. That is quite possible; but however useful, they are certainly not beautiful.

In these long stretches of course we pass hundreds of villages, but these do not attract the eye nor form a feature in the landscape, for the low mud hovels of which they are composed hardly rise above the level of the plain. There is no church spire to be seen, as from a New England village, nor even the dome or minaret of a mosque, for we are not yet in the Mohammedan part of India.

One feature there is which relieves the monotony—the railway stations are the prettiest I have seen out of England. Simply but tastefully built, they are covered with vines and flowers, which with irrigation easily grow in this climate in the open air at all seasons of the year. The railway administration has offered prizes for the embellishment of stations, so that the natives, who are fond of flowers, and who are thus tempted by the hope of reward, plant roses and trail vines everywhere, so that the eye is relieved from the glare 134 of the barren plain by resting on a mass of flowers and verdure.

In their internal arrangements, too, these stations are models of comfort, which might furnish an example to us in America. Wherever we are to breakfast or lunch ("take tiffin") or dine, we find a table neatly spread, with soft-footed Hindoos gliding about to serve us, and with plenty of time to eat in peace, without that rushing which makes travel in America such a hurry and fatigue. I am often asked about the difficulty of travelling in India, to which I answer that there is no difficulty, except from the climate, and that is to be guarded against by going in the cold season. There are railroads all over the country, and if Mr. Pullman would only introduce his sleeping-cars, made more open to give more ventilation in this hot climate, one might travel in India with as perfect comfort as in any part of Europe or America.

But with all these comforts, and all that there is to divert the eye, the way seems long. It is not till one reaches India that he comprehends how vast a country it is—not only in density of population, but in extent of territory. In "magnificent distances" it is almost equal to America itself: all small ideas are dispelled as soon as one leaves the coast, and penetrates into the interior. Our first stage from Bombay to Allahabad was 845 miles, which took us not only the first night and the day after, but the second night also, so that it was not till the morning of the third day that we found ourselves crossing the long bridge over the Jumna into the city which is the great railroad centre in India—a sort of half-way station, both on the "trunk line" from Bombay to Calcutta, and on the line to the North of India.

By this time we were glad of rest, and willingly exchanged our railway carriage for a hotel, where we found the luxury of baths, which refreshed us so that in an hour or two we were able to come forth "clad in fine linen, white and clean," and ride about to see the sights of the town. 135

Allahabad is not a city of so much historical interest as many others, but it has grown very much within a few years. The railroads have given such an impulse to its business, and increase to its population, that it has now 130,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the Northwest Provinces, and thus has a political as well as a commercial importance. Owing to its position, it has been chosen as a convenient centre for missionary operations, and is the seat of one of the best organized missions of our Presbyterian Board. Here we met some excellent countrymen, who at once took us to their hearts and homes: and though reluctant to accept hospitality, or to trespass on their kindness, yet it was impossible to refuse an invitation so cordially given, which took us from a great barrack of a hotel to a refined American home. Our Board is fortunate in owning for its mission premises a large "compound," an enclosure of many acres, on the banks of the Jumna—obtained years ago at a nominal price, and which costs now only the small tax of fifty rupees (twenty-five dollars) a year. Here under one broad roof were Rev. Mr. Kellogg and his family—a wife and four children—and Mr. Wynkoop, and Mr. Heyl: Dr. Brodhead had just left for America. In the compound stands a neat chapel, in which met three years ago the great conference of missionaries of different denominations from all parts of India, the most memorable gathering of the kind ever held in this country. Here there is a service in Hindostanee every Sabbath. In another building is a school of 300 pupils, under charge of Mr. Heyl. He has also, to give sufficient variety to his occupation, to look after an asylum for the blind, and another for lepers. Rev. Messrs. Holcomb and Johnson live in other parts of the city, where there is a Printing-press and a large Depository for the sale of Bibles and Tracts in the different languages of India. All of these missionaries, besides preaching in churches, preach in the streets and bazaars, and spend some months of the year in itinerating through 136 the villages in a large circuit of country, living in tents, and speaking to the people by the roadside, or in groves, or in their houses, wherever they can find them—a work which they enjoy greatly. Thus with preaching in city and country, and keeping up their schools, and looking after printing presses, writing and publishing books and tracts, they have their hands full.

Nor can I overlook our countrywomen in Allahabad. There is here a "Zenana Mission," supported by the society of the good Mrs. Doremus, and also two ladies connected with the Presbyterian Board, one of whom, Miss Wilson, devotes herself to visiting in the Zenanas, while the other, Miss Seward, is a physician, practising with great success in many of the best native families, thus rendering a physical as well as a spiritual service. She is a niece of the late Secretary of State, William H. Seward, who when in India paid her a visit, and was so impressed with what she was doing so quietly and yet so effectively; with the access which her medical skill and her feminine tact gave her to the interior life of the people; that on his return to America he summed up the result of all his observations of missions in this brief counsel: "Make all your missionaries women, and give them all a medical education."

Allahabad has a proud name—the City of God; but one sees not much to render it worthy of that exalted title. It is however, in the estimation of the Hindoos a sacred city, as it stands at the junction of the Jumna and the Ganges, the two sacred rivers of India, which issuing out of the glaciers of the Himalayas, hundreds of miles to the north, here unite, and flow on in a broader stream, and with an increased volume of sanctity. The point of junction is of course a very holy place—one of the most sacred in India—and draws to it more pilgrims than Mecca. Every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, come from all parts of India to bathe in these holy waters. This is the Méla—or great 137 religious festival—which was now in progress. The missionaries congratulated us that we had arrived at such an opportune moment, as we had thus an opportunity of witnessing a spectacle which would show more of Hindooism than any other that we could see in India, unless it might be in the holy city of Benares.

On a Saturday evening we rode down to the place of the encampment, which we found covering a wide sandy plain at the junction of two rivers. It was a camp-meeting of magnificent dimensions. The tents or booths were laid out in streets, and sometimes grouped in a hollow square, which for the time being was a compact and populous city. As the evening was not the hour for bathing, we did not go down to the river bank, but strolled among the camps to see the people. At every tent fires were burning, and they were cooking their food.

Our friends led the way to the camp of the Sikhs, the famous warrior race of the Punjaub, who form a sect by themselves, and, strange to say, are not idolators. They follow the teachings of a prophet of their own, and like the Mohammedans, make it a special virtue, that they do not worship idols. But the old instinct is too strong for them, and while they do not bow to images, they pay a reverence to their sacred book—the writings of their teacher—which is little short of idolatry. At several places in their camp was something like an altar, a raised platform which was too holy for us to ascend, where sat a priest reading from this volume, before which all knelt as at the shrine of a saint, while they scattered flowers around it as a kind of incense or adoration.

In other parts of the camp men were blowing horns and making all sorts of hideous noise, as an intense way of offering devotions. This mockery of religion moved the indignation of our friends, who opened their mouths boldly in exposure of such folly and superstition, but they found that those 138 whom they addressed did not shrink from the encounter. Some of them were very keen in argument. They have a subtle philosophy at the bottom of their worship, which they explained with a good deal of ingenuity, and tried to illumine by apt analogies and illustrations. Like all Hindoos, they were most liberal in their tolerance of other religions—much more so than the Mohammedans—generously conceding that our religion was best for us, while claiming that theirs was best for them. They did not try to convert us, and saw no reason why we should try to convert them. This was the Broad Church indeed, large enough for "all sorts and conditions of men." They even went further, and paid us not only the respect due to men, but to gods. One of the fakirs said to us in so many words: "You are God and I am God!" This tells the whole story in a sentence. Their creed is the baldest Pantheism: that God is in everything, and therefore everything is God. As all life comes from Him, He is in everything that lives—not only in man, but in beasts, and birds, and reptiles. All alike are incarnations of a Divine life, and hence all alike are fit objects of adoration. Man can adore himself. He need not carry any burden of sorrow or guilt; he need not know repentance or shame; for how can he mourn for impulses which are but the inspirations of the God in him, or for acts which are but the manifestations of the Universal Soul?

This was our first close contest with Hindooism, but still we had not seen the Méla till we had seen the bathing of the pilgrims in the Ganges, which was still in reserve. The Festival lasts a month—like the Ramadan of the Mohammedans—and is regulated by the changes of the moon. The day of the new moon, which was last Wednesday, was the great day of the feast. On that day there was a grand procession to the river, in which there were twenty-five elephants, mounted by their mahants (a sort of chief priests), with hundreds of 139 fakirs on foot, and a vast crowd in all the frenzy of devotion. On Monday, as the moon was approaching her first quarter, there was likely to be a large concourse, though not equal to the first, and we made arrangements to be on hand to witness a spectacle such as we had never seen before, and should probably never see again. Rev. Mr. Holcomb came very early in the morning with his carriage, to take us to the riverside. As we drove along the roads, we passed thousands who were flocking to the place of bathing. Some rode in ox-carts, which carried whole families; now and then a mounted horseman dashed by; while a long row of camels told of a caravan that had toiled wearily over a great distance, perhaps from the foot of the Himalayas or the Vale of Cashmere, to reach the sacred spot. But the greater part of those who came were on foot, and looked like pilgrims indeed. Most of them carried on their shoulders a couple of baskets, in one of which was their food, and in the other the ashes of their dead, which they had brought from their homes, sometimes hundreds of miles, to cast into the sacred waters of the Ganges.

The carriage brought us only to the Bund, near the Fort—a huge embankment of earth raised to keep out the waters at the time of the annual risings, and which during the past year had saved the city from inundation. Here our friends had provided an elephant to take us through the crowd. The huge creature was waiting for us. The mahout who stood at his head now mounted in an extraordinary manner. He merely stepped in front of the elephant, and took hold of the flaps of his ears, and put up a foot on his trunk, which the beast raised as lightly as if the man had been a feather, and thus tossed his rider upon his head. A word of command then brought him to his knees, when a ladder was placed against his side, and we climbed to the top, and as he rose up, were lifted into the air. An elephant's back is a capital lookout for observation. It raises one on high, from which 140 he can look down upon what is passing below; and the mighty creature has not much difficulty in making his way through even the densest crowd. He moved down the embankment a little slowly at first, but once on level ground, he strode along with rapid strides; while we, sitting aloft, regarded with amazement the scene before us.

Indeed it was a marvellous spectacle. Here was a vast camp, extending from river to river. Far as the eye could reach, the plain was covered with tents and booths. We had no means of estimating the number of people present. Mr. Kellogg made a rough calculation, as he stood in his preaching tent, and saw the crowd pouring by. Fixing his eye on the tent-pole, with watch in hand, he counted the number that passed in a minute, and found it to be a hundred and fifty, which would make nine thousand in an hour. If this steady flow were kept up for four hours (as it began at daylight, and was continued, though with varying volume, through the forenoon), it would make thirty-six thousand; and reckoning those encamped on the ground at twenty thousand, the whole number would be over fifty thousand.

This is a very small number, compared with that present at some times. Last Wednesday it was twice as great, and some years the multitude—which overflows the country for miles, like an inundation of the Ganges—has been estimated at hundreds of thousands, and even millions. Every twelve years there is a greater Méla than at other times, and the concourse assumes extraordinary proportions. This came six years ago, in 1870. That year it was said that there were present 75,000 fakirs alone, and on the great day of the feast it was estimated that a million of people bathed in the Ganges. So fearful was the crush that they had to be marshalled by the police, and marched down to the river by ten or twenty thousand at a time, and then across a bridge of boats to the other side, returning by another way, so as to prevent a collision of the entering and returning mass, that might have 141 occasioned a fearful loss of life. That year it was estimated that not less than two millions of pilgrims visited the Méla. Allowing for the common exaggeration in estimating multitudes, there is no doubt whatever that the host of pilgrims here has often been "an exceeding great army."

I could not but look with pity at the ignorant creatures flocking by, but the feeling of pity changed to disgust at the sight of the priests by whom they were misled. Everywhere were fakirs sitting on the ground, receiving the reverence of the people. More disgusting objects I never looked upon, not even in an asylum for the insane. They were almost naked; their hair, which they suffer to grow long, had become tangled and knotted, and was matted like swamp grass, and often bound round with thick ropes; and their faces smeared with filth. The meagerness of their clothing is one of the tokens of their sanctity. They are so holy that they do not need to observe the ordinary rules of decency. Yet these filthy creatures are regarded not only with reverence, but almost worshipped. Men—and women also—stoop down and kiss their feet. On Wednesday some three hundred of these fakirs marched in procession absolutely naked, while crowds of women prostrated themselves before them, and kissed the very ground over which they had passed. One is amazed that such a disgusting exhibition was not prevented by the police. Yet it took place under the guns of an English fort, and—greatest shame of all—instead of being suppressed, was accompanied and protected by the police, which, though composed of natives, wore the uniform, and obeyed the orders, of Christian England! There are not many sights which make one ashamed of the English government in India, but surely this is one of them.[1]


How such "brute beasts" can have any respect or influence, is one of the mysteries of Hindooism. But the common people, ignorant and superstitious, think these men have a power that is more than human, and fear to incur their displeasure. They dread their curses: for these holy men have a fearful power of imprecation. Wherever they stroll through the country, no man dares to refuse them food or shelter, lest one of their awful curses should light upon his head, and immediately his child should die, or disaster should overtake his house.

But let us pass on to the banks of the river, where the crowd is already becoming very great. To go among them, we get down from our elephant and walk about. Was there ever such a scene—men, women, and children, by tens of thousands, in all stages of nakedness, pressing towards the sacred river? The men are closely shaved, as for every hair of their heads they gain a million of years in Paradise! Some had come in boats, and were out in the middle of the stream, from which they could bathe. But the greater part were along the shore. The water was shallow, so that they could wade in without danger; but to afford greater security, lines of boats were drawn around the places of bathing, to keep them from drowning and from suicide.

It would not have been easy to make our way through such a crowd, had not the native police, with that respect for Englishmen which is seen everywhere in India, cleared the way for us. Thus we came down to the water's edge, passing through hundreds that were coming up dripping from the water, and other hundreds that were pressing in. They were of all ages and sexes. It was hard to repress our disgust at the voluntary debasement of men who might know better, but 143 with these there were some wretched objects, who could only excite our pity—poor, haggard old women, who had dragged themselves to this spot, and children borne on their mothers' shoulders! In former times many infants were thrown into the Ganges. This was the most common form of infanticide. But this practice has been stopped by the strong hand of the government. And now they are brought here only to "wash and be cleansed." Even the sick were carried in palanquins, to be dipped in the healing waters; and here and there one who seemed ready to die was brought, that he might breathe his last in sight of the sacred river.

I observed a great number of flags flying from tall poles in different parts of the ground, which made the place look like a military encampment. These marked the headquarters of the men who get up these Mélas, and in so doing contrive to unite business with religion. During the year they perambulate the country, drumming up pilgrims. A reputation for sanctity is a stock in trade, and they are not too modest to set forth their own peculiar gifts, and invite those who come to the holy water to repair to their shop, where they can be "put through" in the shortest time, and for the least money. This money-making feature is apparent in all the arrangements of these pious pilgrimages.

In keeping with these coarser features of the scene, was the presence of dancing girls, who gathered a group around them close to the bathing places, and displayed their indecent gestures on the banks of the holy river, to those who had just engaged in what they considered an act of moral purification.

In other parts of the camp, retired from the river, was carried on the business of "religious instruction." Here and there pundits, or learned Brahmins, surrounded by large companies, chiefly of women, were reading from the Shasters, which, considering that they got over the ground with great velocity, could hardly be very edifying to their hearers. This 144 mattered little, however, as these sacred books are in Sanscrit, which to the people is an unknown tongue.

I was glad to see that these blind leaders of the blind did not have it all their own way. Near by were the preaching-tents of several missionaries, who also drew crowds, to whom they spoke of a better religion. Among them was Rev. Mr. Macombie, who is a famous preacher. He is a native of India, and is not only master of their language, but familiar with their ideas. He knows all their arguments and their objections, and if a hearer interrupts him, whether a Hindoo, or a Mohammedan, he is very apt to get a shot which makes him sink back in the crowd, glad to escape without further notice. Whether this preaching converts many to Christianity, there can be no doubt that it diffuses a widespread sense of the folly of these Mélas, and to this as one cause may be ascribed the falling-off in the concourse of pilgrims, who were formerly counted by millions and are now only by hundreds of thousands.

While "religion" thus went on vigorously, business was not forgotten. In the remoter parts of the camp it was turned into a market-place. A festival which brings together hundreds of thousands of people, is an occasion not to be lost for traffic and barter. So the camp becomes a huge bazaar (a vast fair, such as one may see in America at a cattle show or a militia muster), with streets of shops, so that, after one has performed his religious duties, as he comes up from the holy waters and returns to "the world," he can gratify his pride and vanity by purchasing any quantity of cheap jewelry.

There are shops for the sale of idols. We could have bought a lovely little beast for a few pence. They are as "cheap as dirt;" in fact, they are often made of dirt. As we stood in front of one of the shops, we saw a group rolling up a little ball of mud, as children make mud pies; who requested a lady of our party to step one side, as her shadow, falling on this holy object, polluted it! 145

It is hard to believe that even the most ignorant and degraded of men can connect such objects with any idea of sacredness or religion. And yet the wretched-looking creatures seemed infatuated with their idolatries. To bathe in the Ganges washes away their sins. It opens to them the gates of paradise. Such value do they attach to it that even death in its sacred waters is a privilege. Formerly suicides were very frequent here, till they were stopped by the Government. Fanaticism seems to destroy the common sympathies of life. Last Wednesday, while the great procession was in progress, a fire broke out in one of the booths. As they are made of the lightest material it caught like tinder, and spread so rapidly that in a few minutes a whole camp was in a blaze. But for the presence of mind and energy of a few English soldiers from the Fort who were on the ground, and who seized an engine, and played upon the burning wood and thatch, the entire encampment might have been destroyed, involving an appalling loss of life. As it was, some thirty perished, almost all women. Mr. Kellogg came up in time to see their charred and blackened remains. Yet this terrible disaster awakened no feeling of compassion for its victims. They were accounted rather favored beings to have perished in such a holy spot. Thus does the blindness of superstition extinguish the ordinary feelings of humanity.

Weary and heart-sick at such exhibitions of human folly, we mounted our elephant to leave the ground. The noble beast, who had waited patiently for us (and was duly rewarded), now seemed as if he could stand it no longer, and taking us on his back, strode off as if disgusted with the whole performance, and disdaining the society of such debased human creatures.

This Méla, with other things which I have seen, has quite destroyed any illusions which I may have had in regard to Hindooism. In coming to India, one chief object was to 146 study its religion. I had read much of "the mild Hindoo" and "the learned Brahmin," and I asked myself, May not their religion have some elements of good? Is it not better at least than no religion? But the more I study it the worse it seems. I cannot understand the secret of its power. I can see a fascination in Romanism, and even in Mohammedanism. The mythology of the Greeks had in it many beautiful creations of the imagination. But the gods of the Hindoos are but deified beasts, and their worship, instead of elevating men intellectually or morally, is an unspeakable degradation.

Hindooism is a mountain of lies. It is a vast and monstrous system of falsehood, kept in existence mainly for the sake of keeping up the power of the Brahmins. Their capacity for deceit is boundless, as is that of the lower castes for being deceived. Of this I have just had a specimen. In the fort here at Allahabad is a subterranean passage which is held in the highest veneration, as it is believed that here a river flows darkly underground to join the sacred waters of the Jumna and the Ganges, and here—prodigy of nature—is a sacred tree, which has been here (they tell us) for hundreds of years, and though buried in the heart of the earth, still it lives. It is true it does show some signs of sap and greenness. But the mystery is explained when the fact comes out that the tree is changed every year. The sergeant-major, who has been here four years, told me that he had himself given the order three times, which admitted the party into the Fort at midnight to take away the old stump and put in a fresh tree! He said it was done in the month of February, so that with the first opening of spring it was ready to bloom afresh! How English officers can reconcile it with their honor to connive at such a deception—even though it be to please the Brahmins—I leave them to explain. But the fact, thus attested, is sufficient to show the unfathomable lying of this ruling caste of India, and the immeasurable credulity of their disciples. 147

A religion that is founded on imposture, and supported by falsehood, cannot bear the fruits of righteousness. In the essence of things truth is allied to moral purity. Its very nature is "sweetness and light." But craft and deceit in sacred things breed a vicious habit of defending by false reasoning what an uncorrupted conscience would reject; and the holy name of religion, instead of being a sacrament of good, becomes a sacrament of evil, which is used to cover and consecrate loathsome immoralities. Thus falsehood works like poison in the blood, and runs through every vein till the whole moral being is spotted with leprosy.




We left Allahabad at midnight, and by noon of the next day were at Agra, in the heart of the old Mogul Empire. As we approached from the other side of the Jumna, we saw before us what seemed a royal castle, of imposing dimensions, strongly fortified, with walls and moat, like one of the strongholds of the Middle Ages, a castle on the Rhine, built for a double purpose, half palace and half fortress. As we crossed the long bridge flags were flying in honor of the Prince of Wales, who had arrived the week before. His entry into this old Mogul capital was attended with a display of magnificence worthy of the days of Aurungzebe. At the station he was met by a great number of Rajahs, mounted on elephants richly caparisoned, of which there were nearly two hundred in the procession, with long suites of retainers, who escorted him to his camp outside of the city. Rev. Mr. Wynkoop (who came on a few days before to witness the fêtes, and was staying with a friend who had a tent quite near to that of the Prince), met us at the station and took us out to the Royal camp. It was indeed a beautiful sight. The tents, many of which were very large, were laid off in an oblong square, with the marquee of the Prince at the end, in front of which floated the royal standard of England. The rest of the camp was laid off in streets. On the outskirts of the Maidan (or parade ground) were the military selected from different corps of the Indian army. Some of the native troops 149 in drill and discipline were equal to the English. The Punjaubees especially were magnificent fellows. Tall and athletic in figure, they are splendid horsemen, so that a regiment of Punjaubee (or Sikh) cavalry is one of the sights of India. English artillery manned the guns with which they saluted the native princes according to their rank, as they came to pay their respects. Here, on the Saturday before, the Prince had held a grand Durbar, to which the Rajahs came riding on elephants, and each with a body-guard of cavalry, mounted sometimes on horses and sometimes on camels, making altogether such a scene of barbaric splendor as could not be witnessed in any country in the world but India.

The Prince was absent from the camp, having gone off a day or two before to pay a visit to the Maharajah of Gwalior, but an hour later, while we were making a first visit to the Taj, we heard the guns which announced his return. A day or two after we saw him starting for Jeypore, when, although he drove off in a carriage very quietly, the camels and elephants that went rolling along the different roads, as we drove out once more to the camp, told of the brilliant pageant that was ended.

This visit of the Prince of Wales is a great event. It has excited a prodigious interest in official and military circles. His progress through the country has been in a blaze of processions and illuminations. To himself it must have been very gratifying. As he said, "It had been the dream of his life to visit India." It was a matter of political wisdom that he should know it, not only through others but by personal observation. Mr. Disraeli, in proposing it in Parliament, said justly that "travel was the best education for princes." It was well that the future King of England, should make himself acquainted with the great Empire that he was one day to rule. But whether this royal visit will result in any real benefit to India to correspond with the enormous expense it has involved, is a question which I 150 hear a good deal discussed among Englishmen. In some ways it cannot fail to do good. It has presented to the people of India an impersonation of sovereignty, a visible representative of that mighty power, the British Empire. It has conciliated the native princes, who have been greatly pleased by the frank and manly courtesy of their future sovereign. In the art of courtesy he is a master. History will give him this rank among princes, that he was not great, but gracious. This is a kingly virtue which it was well to have exhibited in the person of one of such exalted rank, the more as English officials in India are charged with showing, often in the most offensive way, the insolence of power. Perhaps it was on this very account that he took such pains to show a generous and even chivalrous courtesy to natives of rank, even while he did not hesitate, so I was told by Englishmen, to "snub" his own countrymen. Such a bearing has certainly commanded respect, and given him a personal popularity. But it has not converted the people to loyalty any more than to Christianity. They run to see the parades, the Rajahs, and the elephants. But as to its exciting any deeper feeling in them, no Englishman who has lived long in the country will trust to that for a moment. Even though English rule be for their own safety and protection, yet their prejudices of race and religion are stronger than even considerations of interest. It is a curious illustration of the power of caste that the very Rajahs who entertain the Prince of Wales with such lavish hospitality, who build palaces to receive him, and spread before him sumptuous banquets, still do not themselves sit down at the table; they will not even eat with their Royal guest; and count his touch of food, and even his shadow falling upon it, a pollution! Such a people are not to be trusted very far beyond the range of English guns. The security of English rule in India is not to be found in any fancied sentiment of loyalty, which does not exist, but in the overwhelming proof of English 151 power. British possession is secured by the well-armed fortresses which overlook every great city, and which could lay it in ruins in twenty-four hours. The rule that was obtained by the sword, must be held by the sword.

But the interest of Agra is not in the present, but in the past. There are few chapters in history more interesting than that of the Mohammedan invasion of India—a history dating back to the Middle Ages, but culminating about the time that Columbus discovered the New World. Those fierce warriors, who had ravaged Central Asia, had long made occasional incursions into India, but it was not till the beginning of the sixteenth century that they became complete masters of the country, and the throne was occupied by a descendant of the house of Tamerlane.

The dominion thus introduced into India was an exotic, but like other products of the North, transplanted into a tropical clime, it blossomed and flowered anew. The Moguls (a corruption of Mongols) had all the wealth of Ormus and of Ind at their feet, and they lavished it with Oriental prodigality, displaying a royal state which surpassed the grandeur of European courts.

The Great Mogul! What power there is in a name! Ever since I was a child, I had read about the Great Mogul, until there was a magic in the very word. To be sure, I had not much idea who or what he was; but perhaps this vagueness itself added to the charm in my imagination. He was an Oriental potentate, living somewhere in the heart of Asia, in a pomp and glory quite unknown among barbarians of the West. He was a sort of Haroun al Raschid, whose magnificence recalled the scenes of the Arabian Nights. Even more, he was like the Grand Lama, almost an object of worship. To keep up the illusion, he withdrew from observation into his Palace, where he sat like a god, rarely seen by mortal eyes, except by his court, and dwelling in unapproachable splendor. 152

And now here I was in the very Palace of the Great Mogul, walking through the glittering halls where he held his gorgeous revelries, entering the private apartments of his harem, and looking out of the very windows from which they looked down upon the valley of the Jumna.

The Palace is in the Citadel of Agra, for those old Emperors took good care to draw fortified walls around their palaces. The river front presents a wall sixty feet high, perhaps half a mile long, of red sandstone, which heightens by contrast the effect of the white marble pavilions, so graceful and airy-like, that rise above it. The Fort is of great extent, but it is the mere casket of the jewels within, the Palace and the Mosque, in which one may see the infinite beauty of that Saracenic architecture, which is found nowhere in Europe in such perfection, except in the Alhambra. The Mohammedan conquerors of India, like the same conquerors of Spain, had gorgeous tastes in architecture. Both aimed at the grandeur of effect produced by great size and massive construction, combined with a certain lightness and airiness of detail, which give it a peculiar delicacy and grace. Here the imagination flowers in stone. The solid marble is made to bend in vines and wreaths that run along the walls. The spirit of Oriental luxury finds expression in cool marble halls, and open courts, with plashing fountains, where the monarch could dally with the beauties of his court. In all these things the life of the Great Mogul did not differ from that of the Moorish Kings of Spain.

The glory of Agra dates from the reign of Akbar the Great who made it the capital of the Mogul Empire. He built the Fort, with its long line of castellated walls, rising above the river, and commanding the country around. Within this enclosure were buildings like a city, and open spaces with canals, among which were laid out gardens, blooming with flowers. On the river side of the Fort was a lofty terrace, on which stood the Palace, built of the purest marble. It 153 was divided into a number of pavilions whose white walls and gilded domes glittered in the sun. Passing from one pavilion to another over tessellated pavements, we enter apartments rich in mosaics and all manner of precious stones. Along the walls are little kiosks or balconies, the windows of which are half closed by screens of marble, which yet are so exquisitely carved and pierced as to seem like veils of lace, drawn before the flashing eyes that looked out from behind them. Straying through these rich halls, one cannot but reproduce the scenes of three centuries ago, when Akbar ruled here in the midst of his court; when the beauties of his seraglio, gathered from all the East, sported in these gardens, and looked out from these latticed windows.

Of equal beauty with the palace is the mosque. It is called the Pearl Mosque, and a pearl indeed it is, such is the simplicity of outline, and such the exquisite and almost tender grace in every arch and column. Said Bishop Heber: "This spotless sanctuary, showing such a pure spirit of adoration, made me, a Christian, feel humbled when I considered that no architect of our religion had ever been able to produce anything equal to this temple of Allah."

But these costly buildings have but little use now. The Mosque is still here, but few are the Moslems who come to pray; and the palace is tenantless. The great Moguls are departed. Their last descendant was the late King of Delhi, who was compromised in the Great Mutiny, and passed the rest of his life as a state prisoner. Not a trace remains here nor at Delhi of the old Imperial grandeur. Yet once in a long while these old palaces serve a purpose to entertain some royal guest. Last week they were fitted up for a fête given to the Prince of Wales, when the stately apartments were turned into reception rooms and banqueting halls. It was a very brilliant spectacle, as the British officers in their uniforms mingled with the native princes glittering with diamonds. But it would seem as if the old Moguls must turn 154 in their coffins to hear this sound of revelry in their vacant palaces, and to see the places where the Mohammedan ruled so long now filled by unbelievers.

Perhaps one gets a yet stronger impression of the magnificence of the Great Mogul in a visit to the Summer Palace of Akbar at Futtehpore-Sikri, so called from two villages embraced in the royal retreat. This was the Versailles of the old Moguls. It is over twenty miles from Agra, but starting early we were able to drive there and return the same day. The site is a rocky hill, which might have been chosen for a fortress. The outer wall enclosing it, with the two villages at its foot, is nine miles in extent. The buildings were on a scale to suit the wants of an Imperial Court—the plateau of the hill being laid off in a vast quadrangle, surrounded by palaces, and zenanas for the women of the Imperial household, and mosques and tombs. Perhaps the most exquisite building of all is a tomb in white marble—the resting place of Selim, a Moslem saint, a very holy shrine to the true believers; although the Mosque is far more imposing, since before it stands the loftiest gateway in the world. Around the hill are distributed barracks for troops, and stables for horses and camels and elephants. The open court in the centre of all these buildings is an esplanade large enough to draw up an army. Here they show the spot where Akbar used to mount his elephant, and here his troops filed before him, or subject princes came with long processions to pay him homage.

As this palace was built for a summer retreat, everything is designed for coolness; pavilions, covered overhead, screen from the sun, while open at the sides, they catch whatever summer air may be stirring. In studying the architecture of the Moors or the Moguls, one cannot but perceive, that in its first inception it has been modelled after forms familiar to their nomadic ancestors. The tribes of Central Asia first dwelt in tents, and when they came to have more fixed habitations 155 built of wood or stone, they reproduced the same form, so that the canvas tent became the marble pavilion—just as the builders of the Gothic cathedrals caught the lines of their mighty arches from the interlacing branches of trees which made the lofty aisles of the forest. So the tribes of the desert, accustomed to live in tents, when endowed with empire, falling heir to the riches of the Indies, still preserved the style of their former life, and when they could no longer dwell in tents, dwelt in tabernacles. These palaces are almost all constructed on this type. There is one building of singular structure, five stories high, which is a series of terraces, all open at the side.

If we believe the tales of travellers and historians, nothing since the days of Babylon has equalled the magnificence of the Great Mogul. But magnificence in a sovereign generally means misery in his subjects. The wealth that is lavished on the court is wrung from the people. So it is said to have been with some of the successors of Akbar. The latest historian of Mussulman India[2] says: "They were the most shameless tyrants that ever disgraced a throne. Mogul administration ... was a monstrous system of oppression and extortion, which none but Asiatics could have practised or endured. Justice was a mockery. Magistrates could always be bribed; false witnesses could always be bought.... The Hindoos were always in the hands of grinding task-masters, foreigners who knew not how to pity or to spare."

But Akbar was not merely a magnificent Oriental potentate—he was truly a great king. A Mohammedan himself, he was free from Moslem fanaticism and bigotry. Those conquerors of India had a difficult task (which has vexed their English successors after two centuries), to rule a people of a different race and a different religion. It was harder for the Moslem than for the Christian, because his creed was more 156 intolerant; it made it his duty to destroy those whom he could not convert. The first law of the Koran was the extermination of idolatry, but the Hindoos were the grossest of idolaters. How then could a Mohammedan ruler establish his throne without exterminating the inhabitants? But the Moslems—like many other conquerors—learned to bear the ills which they could not remove. Necessity taught them the wisdom of toleration. In this humane policy they were led by the example of Akbar, who, though a Mussulman, was not a bigot, and thought it a pity that subtle questions of belief should divide inhabitants of the same country. He admitted Hindoos to a share in his government, and endeavored by complete tolerance to extinguish religious hatreds. He had even the ambition to be a religious reformer, and tried to blend the old faith with the new, and to make an eclectic religion by putting together the systems of Zoroaster, of the Brahmins, and of Christianity, while retaining some of the Mohammedan forms. But he could not convert even his own Hindoo wives, of whom he had one or two, and built a house for each, in Hindoo architecture, with altars for idol worship. What impression then could he make outside of the circle of his court?

But greatness commands our homage, even though it sometimes undertakes tasks beyond human power. Akbar, though he could not inspire others with his own spirit of justice and toleration, deserves a place in history as the greatest sovereign that ever sat in the seat of the Great Mogul. And therefore, when in the Fort at Agra I stood beside the large slab of black marble, on which he was wont to sit to administer justice to his people, it was with the same feeling that one would seek out the oak of Vincennes, under which St. Louis sat for the same purpose; and at Secundra, a few miles from Agra, we visited his tomb, as on another continent we had visited the tomb of Frederick the Great, and of Napoleon. 157

But the jewel of India—the Koh-i-noor of its beauty—is the Taj, the tomb built by the Emperor Shah Jehan, the grandson of Akbar, for his wife, whom he loved with an idolatrous affection, and on her deathbed promised to rear to her memory such a mausoleum as had never been erected before. To carry out his purpose he gathered architects from all countries, who rivalled each other in the extravagance and costliness of their designs. The result was a structure which cost fabulous sums of money (the whole empire being placed under contribution for it, as were the Jews for the Temple of Solomon), and employed twenty thousand workmen for seventeen years. The building thus erected is one of the most famous in the world—like the Alhambra or St. Peter's—and of which enthusiastic travellers are apt to say that it is worth going around the world to see. This would almost discourage the attempt to describe it, but I will try and give some faint idea of its marvellous beauty.

But how can I convey to others what is but a picture in my memory? Descriptions of architecture are apt to be vague unless aided by pictorial illustrations. Mere figures and measurements are dry and cold. The most I shall aim at will be to give a general (but I hope not indistinct) impression of it. For this let us approach it gradually.

It stands on the banks of the Jumna, a mile below the Fort at Agra. As you approach it, it is not exposed abruptly to view, but is surrounded by a garden. You enter under a lofty gateway, and before you is an avenue of cypresses a third of a mile long, whose dark foliage is a setting for a form of dazzling whiteness at the end. That is the Taj. It stands, not on the level of your eye, but on a double terrace; the first, of red sandstone, twenty feet high, and a thousand feet broad; at the extremities of which stand two mosques, of the same dark stone, facing each other. Midway between 158 rises the second terrace, of marble, fifteen feet high, and three hundred feet square, on the corners of which stand four marble minarets. In the centre of all, thus "reared in air," stands the Taj. It is built of marble—no other material than this of pure and stainless white were fit for a purpose so sacred. It is a hundred and fifty feet square (or rather it is eight-sided, since the corners are truncated), and surmounted by a dome, which rises nearly two hundred feet above the pavement below.

These figures rather belittle the Taj, or at least disappoint those who looked for great size. There are many larger buildings in the world. But that which distinguishes it from all others, and gives it a rare and ideal beauty, is the union of majesty and grace. This is the peculiar effect of Saracenic architecture. The slender columns, the springing arches, the swelling domes, the tall minarets, all combine to give an impression of airy lightness, which is not destroyed even when the foundations are laid with massive solidity. But it is in the finish of their structures that they excelled all the world. Bishop Heber said truly: "They built like Titans and finished like jewellers." This union of two opposite features makes the beauty of the Taj. While its walls are thick and strong, they are pierced by high arched windows which relieve their heaviness. Vines and arabesques running over the stone work give it the lightness of foliage, of trees blossoming with flowers. In the interior there is an extreme and almost feminine grace, as if here the strength of man would pay homage to the delicacy of woman. Enclosing the sacred spot is a screen of marble, carved into a kind of fretwork, and so pure and white that light shines through it as through alabaster, falling softly on that which is within. The Emperor, bereaved of his wife, lavished riches on her very dust, casting precious stones upon her tomb, as if he were placing a string of pearls around her neck. It is overrun with vines and 159 flowers, cut in stone, and set with onyx and jasper and lapis lazuli, carnelians and turquoises, and chalcedonies and sapphires.

But the body rests in the crypt below. We descend a few steps and stand by the very sarcophagus in which all that loveliness is enshrined. Another sarcophagus contains the body of her husband. Their tombs were covered with fresh flowers, a perpetual tribute to that love which was so strong even on the throne; to those who were thus united in life, and in death are not divided.

Here sentiment comes in to affect our sense of the beauty of the place. If it were not for the touching history connected with it, I could not agree with those who pronounce the Taj the most beautiful building in the world. Merely as a building, it does not "overcome" me so much as another marble structure—the Cathedral of Milan. I could not say with Bishop Heber that the mosques of Islam are more beautiful, or more in harmony with the spirit of devotion, than Christian churches or cathedrals. But the Taj is not a mosque, it is a tomb—a monument to the dead. And that gives it a tender interest, which spiritualizes the cold marble, and makes it more than a building—a poem and a dream.

This impression grew upon us the more we saw it. On our last night in Agra we drove there to take our last view by moonlight. All slept peacefully on the banks of the Jumna. Slowly we walked through the long avenue of dark cypresses, that stood like ranks of mourners waiting for the dead to pass, their tops waving gently in the night wind, as if breathing a soft requiem over the departed. Mounting the terrace we stood again before the Taj, rising into the calm blue heavens. A few nights before the Prince of Wales had been here, and the interior had been illuminated. As we had not seen it then, we had engaged attendants with blue lights, who gave us an illumination of our own. It 160 was a weird scene as these swarthy natives, with naked arms, held aloft their torches, whose blue flames, flaring and flickering, cast a spectral light upward into the dim vault above.

To add to the ghostly effect, we heard whispers above us, as if there were unseen witnesses. It was the echo of our own voices, but one starts to hear himself in such a place. The dome is a whispering gallery; and as we stood beside the tomb, and spoke in a low voice (not to disturb the sleep of the dead), our words seemed to be repeated. Any sound at the tomb—a sigh of pity, or a plaintive melody—rising upward, comes back again,—faintly indeed, yet distinctly and sweetly—as if the very air trembled in sympathy, repeating the accents of love and of despair, or as if unseen spirits were floating above, and singing the departing soul to its rest.

Then we went down once more into the crypt below, where sleeps the form of the beautiful empress, and of Shah Jehan, who built this monument for her, at her side. The place was dark, and the lights in the hands of the attendants cast but a feeble glimmer, but this deep shadow and silence suited the tenor of our thoughts, and we lingered, reluctant to depart from the resting-place of one so much beloved.

As we came out the moon was riding high overhead, flooding the marble pile with beauty. Round and round we walked, looking up at arch and dome and minaret. At such an hour the Taj was so pale and ghostlike, that it did not seem like a building reared by human hands, but to have grown where it stood—like a night-blooming Cereus, rising slowly in the moonlight—lifting its domes and pinnacles (like branches growing heavenward) towards that world which is the home of the love which it was to preserve in perpetual memory.

With such thoughts we kept our eyes fixed on that glittering vision, as if we feared that even as we gazed it might 161 vanish out of our sight. Below us the Jumna, flowing silently, seemed like an image of human life as it glided by. And so at last we turned to depart, and bade farewell to the Taj, feeling that we should never look on it again; but hoping that it might stand for ages to tell its history of faithful love to future generations. Flow on, sweet Jumna, by the marble walls, reflecting the moonbeams in thy placid breast; and in thy gentle murmurs whispering evermore of Love and Death, and Love that cannot die!




Delhi is the Rome of the old Mogul Empire. Agra was the capital in the time of Akbar, but Delhi is an older city. It had a history before the Moguls. It is said to have been destroyed and rebuilt seven times, and thus is overspread with the ashes of many civilizations. Its very ruins attest its ancient greatness. The plain around Delhi is like the Campagna around Rome—covered with the remains of palaces and mosques, towers and tombs, which give credit to the historical statement that the city was once thirty miles in circuit, and had two millions of inhabitants. This greatness tempted the spoiler. In 1398 it was plundered by Tamerlane; in 1525 it was taken by his descendant, Baber, the founder of the Mogul dynasty. Akbar made Agra, 112 miles to the south, his capital; but Shah Jehan, the monarch of magnificent tastes, who built the Taj, attracted by the mighty memories of this Rome of Asia, returned to Delhi, and here laid the foundations of a city that was to exceed all the capitals that had gone before it, if not in size, at least in splendor.

That distinction it still retains among the cities of India. Though not a tenth of old Delhi in size, it has to-day over 160,000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by walls seven miles in extent. We enter under lofty arched gateways, and find ourselves in the midst of a picturesque population, representing all the races of Southern and Central Asia. The city is much gayer than Agra. Its streets are full of people of all 163 colors and costumes. Its shops are rich in Indian jewelry, which is manufactured here, and in Cashmere shawls and other Oriental fabrics; and in walking through the Chandney Chook, the Broadway of Delhi, one might imagine himself in the bazaars of Cairo or Constantinople.

The Fort is very like that of Agra, being built of the same red sandstone, but much larger, and encloses a Palace which Bishop Heber thought superior to the Kremlin. In the Hall of Audience, which still remains, stood the famous Peacock Throne, which is estimated to have been worth thirty millions of dollars. Here the Great Mogul lived in a magnificence till then unknown even in Oriental courts. At the time that Louis XIV. was on the throne of France, a French traveller, Tavernier, made his way to the East, and though he had seen all the glory of Versailles, he was dazzled by this greater Eastern splendor. But what a comment on the vanity of all earthly power, that the monarch who built this Palace was not permitted to live in it! He was dethroned by his son, the wily Aurungzebe, who imprisoned his father and murdered his brother, to get possession of the throne. Shah Jehan was taken back to Agra, and confined in the Fort, where he passed the last years of his life. But as it is only a mile from the Taj, the dethroned King, as he sat in his high tower, could see from his windows the costly mausoleum he had reared. Death came at last to his relief, as it comes alike to kings and captives, and he was laid in his marble tomb, beside the wife he had so much loved.

This story of crime is relieved by one of the most touching instances of fidelity recorded in history. When all others deserted the fallen monarch, there was one true heart that was faithful still. He had a daughter, the favorite sister of that murdered brother, who shared her father's captivity. She was famous throughout the East for her wit and beauty, but sorrow brought out the nobler traits of her character. She clung to her father, and thus comforted the 164 living while she mourned for the dead. She became very religious, and spent her life in deeds of charity. She is not buried in the Taj Mahal, but at Delhi in a humble grave. Lowly in spirit and broken in heart, she shrank from display even in her tomb. She desired to be buried in the common earth, with only the green turf above her. There she sleeps beneath a lowly mound (though surrounded by costly marble shrines), and near the head is a plain tablet, with an inscription in Persian, which reads: "Let no rich canopy cover my grave. This grass is the best covering for the tomb of one who was poor in spirit—the humble, the transitory Jehanara, the disciple of the holy men of Cheest, the daughter of the Emperor Shah Jehan." Was there ever a more touching inscription? As I stood by this grave, on which the green grass was growing, and read these simple words, I was more moved than even when standing by the marble sarcophagus under the dome of the Taj. That covered an Emperor's wife, and was the monument of a royal husband's affection; this recalled a daughter's fidelity—broken in heart, yet loving and faithful, and devoted to the last.

But humiliations were to come to the house of Aurungzebe. As Louis XIV. on his deathbed had to mourn his haughty policy, which had ended in disaster and defeat, so Aurungzebe was hardly in his grave when troubles gathered round his house.[3] About thirty years after, a conqueror from Persia, Nadir Shah, came down from the passes of the Himalayas, ravaged the North of India to the gates of Delhi, plundered the city and the palace, and carried off the Peacock Throne—putting out the eyes of the Great Mogul, telling 165 him in bitter mockery that he had no more need of his throne, since he had no longer eyes to see it!

Other sorrows followed hard after. The kingdom was overrun by the terrible Mahrattas, whose horses' hoofs had so often trampled the plains of India. Then came the English, who took Delhi at the beginning of this century. But still the phantom of the old Empire lived, and there was an Indian Rajah, who bore the sounding name of the Great Mogul. The phantom continued till the Mutiny twenty years ago, when this "King of Delhi" was set up by the Sepoys as their rallying cry. The overthrow of the Rebellion was the end of his house. His sons were put to death, and he was sent into exile, and the Great Mogul ceased to reign.

But though he no longer reigns in Delhi, yet it is one of the chief centres of Islam in the world. Queen Victoria has more Mohammedan subjects than the Sultan. There are forty millions of Moslems in India. Delhi is their Mecca. It has some forty mosques, whose tall minarets and gilded domes produce a very brilliant effect. One especially, the Jumma Musjid, is the most magnificent in India. It stands on a high terrace, mounted by long flights of steps, which give it an imposing effect. Huge bronze doors open into a large court, with a fountain in the centre, and surrounded by arched passages, like cloisters. Here are preserved with religious care some very ancient copies of the Koran, and the footprint of Mohammed in black marble (!), and (holiest relic of all) a coarse red hair, which is said to have been plucked from the beard of the prophet!

Nor is Mohammedanism in India a dead faith, whose fire has died out, its forms only being still preserved. The recurrence of one of their festivals arouses their religious zeal to the highest pitch of fanaticism. We were in Delhi at the time of the Mohurrim, the Moslem "Feast of Martyrs," designed to commemorate the bloody deaths of the grandsons 166 of Mohammed. Macaulay, in his review of the Life of Lord Clive, gives an instance in which this day was chosen for a military assault because of the frenzy with which it kindled all true Mussulmans. He says:

"It was the great Mohammedan festival, which is sacred to the memory of Hosein, the son of Ali. The history of Islam contains nothing more touching than the event which gave rise to that solemnity. The mournful legend relates how the chief of the Fatimites, when all his brave followers had perished round him, drank his latest draught of water and uttered his latest prayer; how the assassins carried his head in triumph; how the tyrant smote the lifeless lips with his staff; and how a few old men recollected with tears that they had seen those lips pressed to the lips of the Prophet of God. After the lapse of twelve centuries, the recurrence of this solemn season excites the fiercest and saddest emotions in the bosoms of the devout Moslems of India. They work themselves up to such agonies of rage and lamentation, that some, it is said, have given up the ghost from the mere effect of mental excitement."

Such was the celebration that we witnessed in Delhi. The martyrdom of these Moslem saints is commemorated by little shrines in their houses, made of paper and tinsel, and on the great day of the feast they go in procession out of the city to a cemetery five miles distant, and there bury them in hundreds of newly-opened graves. As we drove out of Delhi, we found the procession on its march; men, women, and children by tens of thousands on foot, and others in bullock-carts, or mounted on horses, camels, and elephants. Immense crowds gathered by the roadside, mounting the steps of old palaces, or climbing to the tops of houses, to see this mighty procession pass, as it went rolling forward in a wild frenzy to its Golgotha—its place of a skull. There they lay down these images of their saints as they would bury their dead. We went into the cemetery, and saw the open graves, and the little shrines garlanded with flowers, that were laid in the earth, not (so far as we saw) with weeping and wailing, but rather with a feeling of triumph and victory. 167

Leaving this scene of wild fanaticism, we rode on a few miles farther to the Kootub Minar, the loftiest isolated tower in the world, that has stood there six hundred years, looking down on all the strange scenes that have passed within its horizon, since watchers from its summit saw the armies of Tamerlane march by. We rode back through a succession of ruins, stopping at several royal tombs, but most interested in one where the sons of the aged king of Delhi took refuge after the fall of the city, and from which they were taken out by Captain Hodson, and shot in the presence of their deluded followers, and their bodies exposed in the Chandney Chook, to the terror of the wretched people, who had seen the cruelty of these young princes, and were awed to see the retribution that overtook those who had stained their hands with blood.

This tragedy took place less than twenty years ago, and recalls that recent history from which fresh interest gathers round the walls of Delhi. This city played a great part in the Mutiny of 1857. Indeed it broke out at Meerut, thirty miles from here, where the Sepoys rose upon their officers, and massacred the Europeans of both sexes, and then rushed along the road to Delhi, to rouse the natives here to mutiny. Had those in command anticipated such a blow, they might have rallied their little force, and shut themselves up in the Fort (as was done at Agra), with provisions and ammunition for a siege, and there kept the tigers at bay. But they could not believe that the native troops, that had been obedient till now, could "turn and rend them." They were undeceived when they saw these Sepoys drunk with blood, rushing into the town, calling on their fellow-soldiers to rise and kill. Many perished on the spot. But they fell not ingloriously. A brave officer shut himself up in the Arsenal, and when the mutineers had gathered around, ready to burst in, applied the torch, and blew himself and a thousand natives into the air. The little handful of troops fled from the town, and were scarcely able to rally enough to be safe even at a 168 distance. But then rose the unconquerable English spirit. With this small nucleus of an army, and such reinforcements as could be brought from the Punjaub, they held out through the long, dreadful Summer, till in September they had mustered all together seven thousand men (half of whom were natives), with which they proposed to assault a walled city held by sixty thousand native troops! Planting their guns on the Ridge, a mile or two distant, they threw shells into the town, and as their fire took effect, they advanced their lines nearer and nearer. But they did not advance unopposed. Many of the Sepoys were practised artillerists (since the Mutiny all the artillery regiments in India are English), and answered back with fatal aim. Still, though the English ranks were thinned, they kept pushing on; they came nearer and nearer, and the roar of their guns was louder and louder. Approaching the walls at one point, they wished to blow up the Cashmere Gate. It was a desperate undertaking. But when was English courage known to fail? A dozen men were detailed for the attempt. Four natives carried bags of powder on their shoulders, but as they drew within rifle range, English soldiers stepped up to take their places, for they would not expose their native allies to a danger which they were ready to encounter themselves. The very daring of the movement for an instant bewildered the enemy. The Sepoys within saw these men coming up to the gate, but thinking perhaps that they were deserters, did not fire upon them, and it was not till they darted back again that they saw the design. Then came the moment of danger, when the mine was to be fired. A sergeant advanced quickly, but fell mortally wounded; a second sprang to the post, but was shot dead; the third succeeded, but fell wounded; the fourth rushed forward, and seeing the train lighted sprang into the moat, the bullets whizzed over him, and the next instant a tremendous explosion threw the heavy wall into the air.

Such are the tales of courage still told by the camp-fires of 169 the regiments here. More than once did we walk out to the Cashmere Gate, and from that point followed the track of the English troops as they stormed the city, pausing at the spot where the brave General Nicholson fell. With mingled pride and sadness, we visited his grave, and those of others who fell in the siege. The English church is surrounded with them, and many a tablet on its walls tells of the heroic dead. Such memories are a legacy to the living. We attended service there, and as we saw the soldiers filing into the church, and heard the swords of their officers ringing on the pavement, we felt that the future of India was safe when committed to such brave defenders!

This church was standing during the siege, and above it rose a gilded ball, supporting a cross, which was an object of hatred to both Mohammedan and Hindoo, who wished to see this symbol of our religion brought to the ground. Again and again they aimed their guns at it, and the globe was riddled with balls, but still the cross stood, until the city was completely subdued, when it was reverently taken down by English hands, and carried to the Historical Museum, to be kept as a sacred relic. May we not take this as a sign of the way in which the Christian faith will stand against all the false religions of India?

But I turn from battles and sieges to a lighter picture. One may find great amusement in the street scenes of Delhi, which will relieve these "dun clouds of war." In the Mohammedan procession we had seen hundreds of the drollest little carts, drawn by oxen, on which the natives were stuck like pins, the sight of which, with the loads of happy life they bore, excited our envy. Before leaving Delhi, we thought it would be very "nice" to take a turn around the town in one of these extraordinary vehicles. We had tried almost every kind of locomotion; we had ridden on horses and donkeys, on camels and elephants, and had been borne in palanquins; but one more glory awaited us—to ride in a 170 "bali,"—and so we commanded one to attend us for our royal pleasure. But when it drew up in the yard of the hotel, we looked at it in amazement. There stood the oxen, as ready to draw us as a load of hay; but what a "chariot" was this behind! It was a kind of baby-house on cart-wheels—a cushion and a canopy—one seat, with a sort of umbrella over it, under which a native "lady" sits in state, with her feet curled up between her. How we were to get into it was the question. There were three of us, for the surgeon of the Peshawur had joined us. C. of course had the place of honor, while the Doctor and I sat on the edge of the seat, with our lower limbs extended at right angles. The "bali" is rigged somewhat like an Irish jaunting-car, in which one sits sidewise, hanging over the wheels; only in a jaunting-car there is a board for the feet to rest upon, whereas here the feet are literally "nowhere." In the East there is no provision for the lower part of a man. Legs are very much in the way. A Turk or Hindoo curls them up under him, and has done with them. But if an impracticable European will dangle them about where they ought not to be, he must take the consequences. I find that the only way is to look out for the main chance—to see that the body is safe, and let the legs take care of themselves. Then if an accident happens, I am not responsible; I have done my duty. So we now "faced the situation," and while the central personage reposed like a Sultana on a soft divan, her attendants faced in either direction, with their extremities flying all abroad. We felt as if sitting on the edge of a rickety chair, that might break any moment and pitch us into the street. But we held fast to the slender bamboo reeds that supported the canopy, and, thrusting our feet into the air, bade the chariot proceed.

The driver sits astride the tongue of the cart, and sets the thing going by giving the animals a kick in the rear, or seizing the tails and giving them a twist, which sets the beasts 171 into an awkward, lumbering gallop. He was proud of his team, and wished to show us their mettle, and now gave the tails a Herculean twist, which sent them tearing like mad bulls along the street. Everybody turned to look at us, while we laughed at the absurdity of our appearance, and wished that we could have our photograph taken to send home. Thus we rode to the great Mosque of the city, and through the Chandney Chook, the street of the bazaars, and back to our hotel, having had glory enough for one day.




Times have changed since twenty years ago, when Delhi was the head and front of the Rebellion. It is now as tranquil and loyal as any city in India. As we rode out to the Ridge, where the English planted their guns during the siege, we found it surmounted by a lofty Memorial Tower, reared to mark the spot where the courage of a few thousand men saved India. So completely is the English power re-established, that Delhi was lately chosen over all Indian cities as the one where should be gathered the most imposing display of troops to do honor to their future sovereign, the Prince of Wales. Some forty regiments, native and English, were mustered here to form a grand Camp of Exercise. Never before had India witnessed such a military display. Here were native regiments in the picturesque costumes of the East—the superb Sikh cavalry; a corps of guides mounted on camels; and heavy artillery drawn by elephants, which, as they came before the Prince, threw up their trunks and trumpeted a salute to the Majesty of England. Two weeks passed in military manœuvres, and the nights in a constant round of festivities. The Fort was brilliantly illuminated, and the Palace was thronged with "fair women and brave men," but they were those of another race, and speaking another language, from any known to the Great Mogul. Manly English forms took the place of the dusky Hindoos, and bright English eyes shone where once the beauties of the Seraglio "looked out from the lattice." As we walked through these marble halls that had just witnessed these 173 splendid festivities, I could but think, What would the old fanatical Mohammedan Aurungzebe have said, if he could have seen, less than two hundred years after his day, a Christian prince from that distant island of which he had perhaps scarcely heard, received in his palace, the heir of a power ten thousand miles away, that from its seat on the banks of the Thames stretches out its hand across the seas to grasp and hold the vast empire of the house of Tamerlane?

The change has been from darkness to light. If England has not done as much for Delhi as the Great Mogul to give it architectural beauty, it has done far more for the people. It has given them good government for their protection, just laws rigidly enforced against the rich as well as the poor, a police which preserves perfect order; and it even cares for the material comfort of its subjects, giving them good roads, clean and well-lighted streets, and public gardens; thus providing for ornament and pleasure as well as for utility.

The Camp of Exercise was breaking up as we left Delhi, and the troops were marching home. We saw them filing out of the gates of the city, and drew up by the roadside to see the gallant warriors pass. Among them was the corps of Sikh guides, or couriers, mounted on "swift dromedaries." As they were scattered along the road, our guide asked some of them to show us how they could go. In an instant they dashed their feet against the sides of their "coursers," and set them off at full speed. I cannot say that they were very beautiful objects. The camel with his long strides, and with the legs of his rider outspread like the wings of a bird, looked like an enormous ostrich flying at once with legs and wings in swift chase over the desert. But certainly it was a picturesque sight. The infantry marched in column. The spectacle was very gay, as the morning sun shone on the waving banners and gleaming bayonets, and the sound of their bugles died away in the distance. Regiments had been leaving for 174 days, and were scattered at intervals far to the North. As we travelled at night, we saw their camp-fires for a hundred miles. Indeed the whole country seemed to be a camp. Once or twice we came upon a regiment at sunset, just as they had pitched their tents. They had parked their guns, and picketed their horses, and the men were cooking their evening meal. It was a busy scene for an hour or two, till suddenly all became quiet, and the silence of night was broken only by the sentinel's tramp and the jackal's cry.

At Gazeeabad we met Sir Bartle Frere, the chief of the suite of the Prince of Wales, and Canon Duckworth, his chaplain, who were going North on the same train, and found them extremely courteous. The former, I think, must be of French descent from his name (although his family has been settled in England for generations), and from his manners, which seemed to me more French than English, or rather to have the good qualities of both. When French courtesy is united with English sincerity, it makes the finest gentleman in the world. He is an "old Indian," having been many years in the Indian service, and at one time Governor of Bombay. I could but share the wish (which I heard often expressed) that in the change which was just taking place, he were to be the new Governor-General of India.

Canon Duckworth seemed to me also a very "manly man." Though coming to India in the train of royalty, he is much less interested in the fêtes which are setting the country ablaze, than in studying missions, visiting native churches and schools and orphanages. Our American missionaries like his bearing, and wish that he might be appointed the new Bishop of Bombay. One fact should be mentioned to his credit—that he is one of the strongest temperance men in England, carrying his principles and his practice to the point of rigid total abstinence, which, for one travelling in such company, and sitting at such entertainments, shows a firmness in resisting temptation, greatly to his honor. It is 175 a good sign when such men are chosen to accompany the future King of England on his visit to this great dependency, over which he is one day to rule.

That night we had our first sight of the Himalayas. Just at evening we saw on the horizon a fire spreading on the side of a mountain. It was kindled by the natives, as fires are sometimes lighted in our forests or on our prairies. There were the Himalayas!

We now entered the most Northwestern Province of India, the Punjaub, which signifies in Persian "the land of the five streams," which coming together like the fingers of a hand, make the Indus. About midnight we crossed the Sutlej, which was the limit of the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Morning brought us to Umritzur, the holy city of the Sikhs—a sect of reformed Hindoos, who began their "reforms" by rejecting idolatry, but have found the fascination of the old worship too strong for them, and have gradually fallen back into their old superstitions. Their most holy place is a temple standing in the centre of a large tank of water, which they call the Lake of Immortality, and with its pure white marble, and its roof made of plates of copper, richly gilded, merits the title of the Golden Temple. This is a very holy place, and they would not let us even cross the causeway to it without taking off our shoes; and when we put on slippers, and shuffled about, still they followed, watching us with sharp eyes, lest by any unguarded step we should profane their sanctuary. They are as fanatical as Mussulmans, and glared at us with such fierce looks that the ladies of our party were almost frightened. In the centre of the temple sat two priests, on raised mats, to whom the rest were making offerings, while half a dozen musicians kept up a hideous noise, to which the people responded in a way that reminded us of the Howling Dervishes of Constantinople.

A pleasant change from this disgusting scene was a visit 176 to the bazaars, and to the places where Cashmere shawls are manufactured. Of the latter I must say that (as a visit to a dirty kitchen does not quicken one's appetite for the steaming dinner that comes from it), if our fine ladies could see the dens in which these shawls are woven, they might not wear them with quite so much pride. They are close, narrow rooms, in which twenty or thirty men are crowded together, working almost without light or air. The only poetical thing about it is that the patterns are written out in rhyme, which they read or sing as they weave, and thus keep the patterns so regular. But the rooms themselves seem like breeding places for the cholera and the plague. But out of this filth comes beauty, as a flower shoots up from the damp, black soil. Some of the shawls were indeed exquisite in pattern and fabric. One was offered to us for eight hundred rupees (four hundred dollars), which the dealer said had taken two years and a half in its manufacture!

We left Umritzur at five o'clock, and in a couple of hours rolled into the station at Lahore. As the train stopped a friendly voice called our name, and we were greeted most heartily by Dr. Newton, the father of the Mission. Coolies were waiting to carry our baggage, and in a few minutes we were in an American home, sitting before a blazing fire, and receiving a welcome most grateful to strangers on the other side of the world. Dr. Newton is the head of a missionary family, his four sons being engaged in the same work, while his only daughter is the wife of Mr. Forman, another missionary. Very beautiful it was to see how they all gathered round their father, so revered and beloved, happy to devote their lives to that form of Christian activity to which he had led them both by instruction and example. Here we spent four happy days in one of the most pleasant homes in India.

Lahore, like Delhi, has a historical interest. It was a great city a thousand years ago. In 1241 it was taken and 177 plundered by Genghis Khan; a century and a half later came Tamerlane, who did not spoil it only because it was too poor to reward his rapacity. But as it recovered a little of its prosperity, Baber, in 1524, plundered it and partially burnt it. But again it rose from its ashes, and became a great city. The period of its glory was during the time of the Moguls, when it covered a space eighteen miles in circumference, and this vast extent is still strewn with the ruins of its former greatness. Huge mounds, like those which Layard laid open at Nineveh, cover the mighty wreck of former cities.

But though the modern city bears no comparison to the ancient, still it has a political and commercial importance. It is the capital of the Punjaub, and a place of commerce with Central Asia. The people are the finest race we have seen in India. They are not at all like the effeminate Bengalees. They are the Highlanders of India. Tall and athletic, they seem born to be warriors. Their last great ruler, old Runjeet Sing, was himself a soldier, and knew how to lead them to victory. Uniting policy with valor, he kept peace with the English, against whom his successors dashed themselves and were destroyed. All readers of Indian history will remember the Sikh war, and how desperate was the struggle before the Punjaub was subdued. But English prowess conquered at last, and the very province that had fought so bravely became the most loyal part of the Indian empire. It was fortunate that at the breaking out of the mutiny the Governor of the Punjaub was Sir John Lawrence, who had a great ascendancy over the natives, and by his courage and prompt measures he succeeded not only in keeping them quiet, but in mustering here a considerable force to restore English authority in the rest of India. The Punjaubees took part in the siege of Delhi. From that day they have been the most trusted of natives for their courage and their fidelity. They are chosen for police duty in the cities of India, and 178 three months later we were much pleased to recognize our old friends keeping guard and preserving order in the streets of Hong Kong.

Old Runjeet Sing is dead—and well dead, as I can testify, having seen his tomb, where his four wives and seven concubines, that were burnt on his funeral pile, are buried with him. His son too sleeps in a tomb near by, but only seven widowed women were sacrificed for him, and for a grandson only four! Thus there was a falling off in the glory of the old suttee, and then the light of these fires went out altogether. These were the last widows burnt on the funeral pile, and to-day the old Lion of the Punjaub is represented by his son Maharajah Dhuleep Sing, of whose marriage we heard such a romantic story in Cairo, and who now lives with his Christian wife in Christian England.

We had now reached almost the frontier of India. Two hundred and fifty miles farther we should have come to Peshawur, the last military post, on the border of Afghanistan, which no man crosses but at the peril of his life. We find how far North we have come by the race and the language of the people. Persian begins to be mingled with Hindostanee. In the streets of Lahore we meet not only the stalwart Punjaubees, but the hill tribes, that have come out of the fastnesses of the Himalayas; the men of Cabul—Afghans and Beloochees—who have a striking resemblance to the Circassians, who crossed the Mediterranean with us on their pilgrimage to Mecca, the long dresses of coarse, dirty flannel, looking not unlike the sheepskin robes of the wild mountaineers of the Caucasus.

One cannot be so near the border line of British India without having suggested the possibility of a Russian invasion, the fear of which has been for the last twenty years (since the Mutiny and since the Crimean War) the bugbear of certain writers who are justly jealous of the integrity of 179 the English Empire in the East. Russia has been steadily pushing Eastward, and establishing her outposts in Central Asia. These gradual advances, it is supposed, are all to the end of finally passing through Afghanistan, and attacking the English power in India. The appearance of Russian soldiers in the passes of the Hindoo Koosh, it is taken for granted, will be the signal for a general insurrection in India; the country will be in a state of revolution; and at the end of a struggle in which Russians and Hindoos will fight together against the English, the British power will have departed never to return. Or even should the Russians be held back from actual invasion, their approach in a threatening attitude would be such a menace to the Indian Empire, as would compel England to remain passive, while Russia carried out her designs in Europe by taking possession of Constantinople.

This is a terrible prospect, and no one can say that it is impossible that all this should yet come to pass. India has been invaded again and again from the time of Alexander the Great. Even the mighty wall of the Himalayas has not proved an effectual barrier against invasion. Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, with their Tartar hordes, crossed the mountains and swept over the plains of Northern India. A King of Persia captured Delhi, and put out the eyes of the Great Mogul, and carried off the Peacock Throne of Aurungzebe. What has been, may be; what Persia has done, Russia may do.

But while no one can say that it is impossible, all can see that the difficulties are enormous. The distance to be traversed, the deserts and the mountains to be crossed, are so many obstacles set up by nature itself. An army from the Caspian Sea must march thousands of miles over great deserts, where even a small caravan can hardly subsist, and then only by carrying both food to eat and water to drink. Many a caravan is buried by the sands of the desert. What then 180 must be the difficulty of passing a whole army over such a distance and such a desert, with food for men and horses, and carrying guns and all the munitions of war! Five years ago, Russia attempted a campaign against Khiva, and sent out three separate expeditions, one of which was forced to turn back, not by hostile armies, but by the natural obstacles in its path, while the main column, under Gen. Kaufman, came very near succumbing to heat and thirst before reaching its destination. But if the deserts are crossed, then the army is at the foot of the loftiest mountains on the globe, in the passes of which it may have to fight against savage enemies. It is assumed that Russia will have the support of Afghanistan, which will give them free access to the country, and aid them in their march on India; though how a government and people, which are fanatically Mussulman, should aid Russia, which in Europe is the bitterest enemy of Turkey, the great Mohammedan power, is a point which these alarmists seem not to consider.

But suppose all difficulties vanquished—the deserts crossed and the mountains scaled, and the Russians descending the passes of the Himalayas—what an army must they meet at its foot! Not a feeble race, like that which fled before Nadir Shah or Tamerlane. With the railways traversing all India, almost the whole Anglo-Indian army could be transported to the Punjaub in a few days, and ready to receive the invaders.

With these defences in the country itself, add another supreme fact, that England is absolute master of the sea, and that Russia has no means of approach except over the deserts and the mountains, and it will be seen that the difficulties in the way of a Russian invasion render it practically impossible, at least for a long time to come. What may come to pass in another century, no man can foresee; but of this I feel well assured, that there will be no Russian invasion within the lifetime of this generation. 181

We had now reached the limit of our journey to the North, though we would have gladly gone farther. Dr. Newton had spent the last summer in Cashmere, and told us much of its beauty. We longed to cross the mountains, but it was too early in the year. The passes were still blocked up with snow. It would be months before we could make our way over into the Vale of Cashmere. And so, though we "lifted up our eyes unto the hills," we had to turn back from seeing the glory beyond. Might we not comfort ourselves by saying with Mohammed, as he looked down upon Damascus, "There is but one Paradise for man, and I will turn away my eyes from this, lest I lose that which is to come."

And so we turned away our eyes from beholding Paradise. But we had seen enough. So we thought as on Saturday evening we rode out to the Shalamir gardens, where an emperor had made a retreat, and laid out gardens with fountains, and every possible accompaniment of luxury and pride. All remains as he left it, but silent and deserted. Emperor and court are gone, and as we walked through the gardens, our own footfall on the marble pavement was the only sound that broke the stillness of the place. But the beauty is as great as ever under the clear, full moon, which, as we rode back, recalled the lines of Scott on Melrose:

"And home returning, sooth declare,

Was ever scene so sad and fair?"




Ever since we landed in India my chief desire has been to see the Himalayas. I had seen Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, and now wished to look upon the highest mountains in Asia, or the world. To reach them we had travelled nearly fifteen hundred miles. We had already had a distant view of them at night, lighted up by fires blazing along their sides; but to come into their presence one must leave the railway and cross the country some forty miles.

We left Lahore Monday morning, and at noon were at Lodiana, a place with sacred missionary associations; which we left at midnight, and in the morning reached Saharanpur, where also is one of our Presbyterian missions. Rev. Mr. Calderwood met us at the station, and made us welcome to his home, and sped us on our way to the Hills.

Saharanpur is forty-two miles distant from Dehra Doon, the beautiful valley which lies at the foot of the Himalayas. A mail wagon runs daily, but as it suited our convenience better, we chartered a vehicle not unlike an omnibus, and which the natives, improving on the English, call an omnibukus. It is a long covered gharri, that looks more like a prison van than anything else to which I can compare it, and reminded me of the Black Maria that halts before the Tombs in New York to convey prisoners to Blackwell's Island. There are only two seats running lengthwise, as they are made to lie down upon in case of necessity. Much of the travelling is at night, and "old Indians," who are used to the ways of the country, will spread their "resais" and 183 sleep soundly over all the joltings of the road. But we could sleep about as well inside of a bass drum. So we gave up the idea of repose, and preferred to travel by day to see the country, for which this sort of conveyance is very well contrived. The canvas top keeps off the sun, while the latticed slides (which are regular green blinds), drawn back, give a fine view of the country as we go rolling over the road. Our charioteer, excited by the promise of a liberal backsheesh if he should get us into Dehra Doon before nightfall, drove at full speed. Every five or six miles the blast of his horn told those at the next stage that somebody was coming, and that a relay of fresh horses must be ready. As we approached the hills he put on an extra horse, and then two, so that we were driving four-in-hand. Then as the hills grew steeper, he took two mules, with a horse in front as a leader, mounted by a postilion, who, with his white dress and turbaned head, made a very picturesque appearance. How gallantly he rode! He struck his heels into the spirited little pony and set him into a gallop, which the mules could but follow, and so we went tearing up hill and down dale at a furious rate; while the coachman blew his horn louder still to warn common folks to get out of the way, and the natives drew to the roadside, wondering what great man it was who thus dashed by.

But horses and mules were not enough to sustain such a load of dignity, and at the last stage the driver took a pair of the beautiful white hump-backed oxen of the country, which drew us to the top of the pass. The hills which we thus cross are known as the Sewalic range. The top once attained, two horses were quite enough to take us down, and we descended rapidly. And now rose before us a vision of beauty such as we had not seen in all India. The vale of Dehra Doon is enclosed between two walls of mountains—the Sewalic range on one side, and the first range of the Himalayas on the other. It is fifteen miles wide, and about sixty miles long, extending from the Jumna to the Ganges. Thus 184 it lies between two mountains and two rivers, and has a temperature and a moisture which keep it in perpetual green. Nothing can be more graceful than the tall feathery bamboos, which here grow to a great height. Here are fine specimens of the peepul tree—the sacred tree of India, massive as an English oak—and groves of mangoes. Everything seems to grow here—tea, coffee, tobacco, cinnamon, cloves. The appearance of this rich valley, thus covered with groves and gardens, to us coming from the burnt plains of India, was like that of a garden of Paradise. Riding on through this mass of foliage, we rattled into the town, but were not obliged to "find our warmest welcome at an inn." Rev. Mr. Herron had kindly invited us to accept his hospitality, and so we inquired for "Herron-sahib," and were driven along a smooth road, embowered in bamboos, to the Missionary Compound, where a large building has been erected for a Female Seminary, chiefly by the labors of Messrs. Woodside and Herron, the latter of whom is in charge of the institution, one of the most complete in India. Here we were most cordially received, and found how welcome, in the farthest part of the world, is the atmosphere of an American home.

But once in presence of the great mountains, we were impatient to climb the first range, to get a view of the snows. Mr. Herron offered to keep us company. We rose at four the next morning, while the stars were still shining, and set out, but could ride only five miles in a carriage, when we came to the foot of the hills, and were obliged to take to the saddle. Our "syces" had led three horses alongside, which we mounted just as the starlight faded, and the gray light of day began to show over the mountain-tops, while our attendants, light of foot, kept by our side in case their services were needed.

And now we begin the ascent, turning hither and thither, as the road winds along the sides of the mountain. The slope of the Himalayas is not a smooth and even one, rising 185 gently through an unbroken forest. The mountain side has been torn by the storms of thousands of years. In the spring, when the snows melt and the rains come, every torrent whose rocky bed is now bare, becomes a foaming flood, rushing down the hills, and tearing its way through the lowlands, till lost in the Jumna or the Ganges. Thus the mountain is broken into innumerable spurs and ridges that shoot out into the valley. Where the scanty herbage can gather like moss on the rocks, there is grazing for sheep and goats and cattle; and these upland pastures, like those of the Alps or the Tyrol, are musical with the tinkling of bells. High up on the mountains they are dark with pines; while on the inner ranges of the Himalayas the mighty cedars "shake like Lebanon."

One can imagine how lovely must be the Vale of Dehra Doon, with its mass of verdure, set in the midst of such rugged mountains. Although we were climbing upward, we could but stop, as we came to turning points in the road, to look back into the valley. Sometimes a projecting ledge of rock offered a fine point of view, on which we reined up our horses; or an old oak, bending its gnarled limbs over us, made a frame to the picture, through which we looked down into the fairest of Indian vales, unless it be the Vale of Cashmere. From such a point the landscape seemed to combine every element of beauty—plains, and woods, and streams and mountains. Across the valley rises the long serrated ridge of the Sewalic range. Within this space is enclosed a great variety of surface—undulating in hill and valley, with green meadows, and villages, and gardens, while here and there, along the banks of the streams, whose beds are now dry, are belts of virgin forest.

The industry of the people, which turns every foot of soil to account, is shown by the way in which the spurs of the mountains are terraced to admit of cultivation. Wherever there is an acre of level ground, there is a patch of green, 186 for the wheat fields are just springing up; and even spaces of but a few rods are planted with potatoes. Thus the sides of the Himalayas are belted with lines of green, like the sides of the Alps as one descends into Italy. The view is especially beautiful at this morning hour as the sun rises, causing the dews to lift from the valley, while here and there a curl of smoke, rising through the mist, marks the place of human habitation.

But we must prick up our horses, for the sun is up, and we are not yet at the top. It is a good ride of two hours (we took three) to the ridge on which are built the two "hill stations" of Mussoorie and Landour—which are great resorts of the English during the summer months. These "stations" do not deserve the name of towns; they are merely straggling Alpine villages. Indeed nowhere in the Alps is there such a cluster of houses at such a height, or in such a spot. There is no "site" for a regular village, no place for a "main street." One might as well think of "laying out" a village along the spine of a sharp-backed whale, as on this narrow mountain ridge. There is hardly an acre of level ground, only the jagged ends of hills, or points of rocks, from which the torrents have swept away the earth on either side, leaving only the bare surface. Yet on these points and edges—wherever there is a shelf of rock to furnish a foundation, the English have built their pretty bungalows, which thus perched in air, 7,500 feet high, look like mountain eyries, and might be the home of the eagles that we see sailing over the valley below. From such a height do they look over the very top of the Sewalic range to the great plains of India.

But we did not stop at this mountain to look back. Dashing through the little straggling bazaar of Landour, we spurred on to the highest point, "Lal Tiba"; from which we hoped for the great view of "the snows." We reached the spot at nine o'clock, but as yet we saw "only in part." 187 Our final vision was to come three days later. Away to the North and East the horizon was filled with mountains, whose summits the foot of man had never trod, but the intervening distance was covered with clouds, out of which rose the snowy domes, like islands in a sea.

My first impression of the Himalayas was one of disappointment, partly because we "could not come nigh unto" them. We saw their summits, but at such a distance that they did not look so high as Mont Blanc, where we could come "even to his feet" in the Vale of Chamouni. But the Himalayas were seventy miles off,[4] filling the whole horizon. Nor did they rise up in one mighty chain, like the Cordilleras of Mexico, standing like a wall of rock and snow against the sky; but seemed rather a sea of mountains, boundless and billowy, rising range on range, one overtopping the other, and rolling away to the heart of Asia; or, to change the figure, the mountains appeared as an ice continent, like that of the Polar regions, tossed up here and there into higher and still higher summits, but around which, stretching away to infinity, was the wild and interminable sea.

Thus the view, though different from what I expected, was very grand, and though we had not yet the full, clear vision, yet the sight was sublime and awful, perhaps even more so from the partial obscurity, as great clouds came rolling along the snowy heights, as if the heavenly host uprose at the coming of the day, and were moving rank on rank along the shining battlements.

We had hoped by waiting a few hours to get an unobstructed view, but the clouds seemed to gather rather than disperse, warning us to hasten our descent.


In going up the mountain, C—— had kept along with us on horseback, but the long ride to one not used to the saddle had fatigued her so that on the return she was glad to accept Mr. Herron's offer of a dandi, a chair borne by two men, which two others accompanied as relays, while we, mounted as before, followed as outriders. Thus mustering our little force, we began to descend the mountain.

A mile or so from the top we turned aside at the house of a gentleman who was a famous hunter, and who had a large collection of living birds, pheasants and manauls, while the veranda was covered with tiger and leopard skins. He was absent, but his wife (who has the spirit and courage of a huntress, and had often brought down a deer with her own hand) was there, and bade us welcome. She showed us her birds, both living and stuffed, the number of which made her house look like an ornithological museum. To our inquiry she said, "The woods were full of game. Two deer had been shot the evening before."

We asked about higher game. She said that tigers were not common up on the mountain as in the valley. She had two enormous skins, but "the brutes" her husband had shot over in Nepaul. But leopards seemed to be her special pets. When I asked, "Have you many leopards about here?" she laughed as she answered, "I should think so." She often saw them just across a ravine a few rods in front of her house, chasing goats or sheep. "It was great fun." Of late they had become rather troublesome in killing dogs. And so they had been obliged to set traps for them. They framed a kind of cage, with two compartments, in one of which they tied a dog, whose yelpings at night attracted the leopard, who, creeping round and round, to get at his prey, at length dashed in to seize the poor creature, but found bars between them, while the trap closed upon him, and Mr. Leopard was a prisoner. In this way they had caught four the last summer. Then this Highland lady came out from her 189 cottage, and with a rifle put an end to the leopard's career in devouring dogs. The number of skins on the veranda told of their skill and success.

Pursuing my inquiry into the character of her neighbors, I asked, "Have you any snakes about here?" "Oh no," she replied carelessly; "that is to say not many. The cobras do not come up so high on the mountain. But there is a serpent in the woods, a kind of python, but he is a large, lazy creature, that doesn't do any mischief. One day that my husband was out with his gun, he shot one that was eighteen feet long. It was as big around as a log of wood, so that when I came up I sat down and took my tiffin upon it."

While listening to these tales, the clouds had been gathering, and now they were piled in dark masses all around the horizon. The lightning flashed, and we could hear the heavy though distant peals of thunder. Presently the big drops began to fall. There was no time to be lost. We could see that the rain was pouring in the valley, while heavy peals came nearer and nearer, reverberating in the hollows of the mountains. It was a grand spectacle of Nature, that of a storm in the Himalayas. Thunder in front of us, thunder to the right of us, thunder to the left of us! I never had a more exciting ride, except one like it in the Rocky Mountains four years before. At our urgent request, Mr. Herron spurred ahead, and galloped at full speed down the mountain. I came more slowly with C—— in the dandi. But we did not lose time, and after an hour's chase, in which we seemed to be running the gauntlet of the storm, "dodging the rain," we were not a little relieved, just as the scattered drops began to fall thicker and faster, to come into the yard of the hotel at Rajpore.

The brave fellows who had brought the dandi deserved a reward, although Mr. Herron said they were his servants. I wanted to give them a rupee each, but he would not hear of 190 it, and when I insisted on giving at least a couple of rupees for the four, which would be twenty-five cents a piece, the poor fellows were so overcome with my generosity that they bowed almost to the ground in acknowledgment, and went off hugging each other with delight at the small fortune which had fallen to them.

At Rajpore the carriage was waiting for us, and under its cover from the rain, we rode back, talking of the incidents of the day; and when we got home and stretched ourselves before the blazing fire, the subject was renewed. I have a boy's fondness for stories of wild beasts, and listened with eager interest to all my host had to tell. It was hard to realize that there were such creatures in such a lovely spot. "Do you really mean to say," I asked, "that there are tigers here in this valley?" "Yes," he answered, "within five miles of where you are sitting now." He had seen one himself, and showed us the very spot that morning as we rode out to the hills, when he pointed to a ravine by the roadside, and said: "As I was riding along this road one day with a lady, a magnificent Bengal tiger came up out of that ravine, a few rods in front of us, and walked slowly across the road. He turned to look at us, and we were greatly relieved when, after taking a cool survey, he moved off into the jungle."

But leopards are still more common and familiar. They have been in this very dooryard, and on this veranda. One summer evening two years ago, said Miss P., I was sitting on the gravelled walk to enjoy the cool air, when an enormous creature brushed past but a step in front between us and the house. At first we thought in the gloaming it might be a dog of very unusual size, but as it glided past, and came into the light of some cottages beyond, we perceived that it was a very different beast. At another time a leopard crossed the veranda at night, and brushed over the face of a native woman sleeping with her child in her arms. It was well the beast 191 was not hungry, or he would have snatched the child, as they often do when playing in front of native houses, and carried it off into the jungle.

But we will rest to-night in sweet security in this missionary home, without fear of wild beasts or thunder storms. The clouds broke away at sunset, leaving a rich "after-glow" upon the mountains. It was the clear shining after the rain. Just then I heard the voices of the native children in the chapel, singing their hymns, and with these sweet suggestions of home and heaven, "I will lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety."

We had had a glimpse of the Himalayas, but the glimpse only made us eager to get the full "beatific vision"; so, after resting a day, we determined to try again, going up in the afternoon, and spending the night, so as to have a double chance of seeing the snows—both at sunset and at sunrise. This time we had also the company of Mr. Woodside, beside whom I rode on horseback; while Mr. Herron gave his escort to C——, who was "promoted" from a dandi to a jahnpan, which differs from the former only in that it is more spacious, and is carried by four bearers instead of two. Thus mounted she was borne aloft on men's shoulders. She said the motion was not unpleasant, except that the men had a habit, when they came to some dangerous point, turning a rock, or on the edge of a precipice, of changing bearers, or swinging round the bamboo pole from one shoulder to another, which made her a little giddy, as she was tossed about at such a height, from which she could look down a gorge hundreds of feet deep. However, she takes all dangers very lightly, and was enraptured with the wildness and strangeness of the scene—to find herself, an American girl, thus being transported over the mountains of Asia.

So we took up our line of march for the hills, and soon found our pulses beating faster. Why is it that we feel such 192 exhilaration in climbing mountains? Is it something in the air, that quickens the blood, and reacts upon the brain? Or is it the sensation of rising into a higher atmosphere, of "going up into heaven?" So it seemed that afternoon, as we "left the earth" behind us, and went up steadily into the clouds.

I found that the Himalayas grew upon acquaintance. They looked more grand the second time than the first. The landscape was changed by the westering sun, which cast new lights and shadows across the valley, and into the wooded bosom of the hills. To these natural beauties my companion added the charm of historical associations. Few places in India have more interest to the scholar. The Sewalic range was almost the cradle of the Brahminical religion. Sewalic, or Sivalic, as it might be written, means literally the hills of Shiva, or the hills of the gods, where their worshippers built their shrines and worshipped long before Christ was born in Bethlehem. The same ridge is a mine to the naturalist. It is full of fossils, the bones of animals that belonged to some earlier geological epoch. The valley has had a part in the recent history of India. Here the Goorkas—one of the hill tribes, which stood out longest against the English—fought their last battle. It was on yonder wooded height which juts out like a promontory into the plain, where the ruin of an old fort marks the destruction of their power. Today the Goorkas, like the Punjaubees, are among the most loyal defenders of English rule.

At present the attraction of this valley for "old Indians" is not so much in its historical or scientific associations, as the field which it gives to the hunter. This belt of country, running about a hundred miles along the foot of the Himalayas, is composed of forest and jungle, and is a favorite habitat of wild beasts—tigers and leopards and wild elephants. It was in this belt, called the Terai, though further to the East, in Nepaul, that the Prince of Wales a few 193 weeks later made his great tiger-hunting expedition. He might perhaps have found as good sport in the valley right under our eyes. "Do you see that strip of woods yonder?" said Mr. Woodside, pointing to one four or five miles distant. "That is full of wild elephants." An Indian Rajah came here a year or two since for a grand hunt, and in two days captured twenty-four. This is done by the help of tame elephants who are trained for the purpose. A large tract of forest is enclosed, and then by beating the woods, the herd is driven towards a corner, and when once penned, the tame elephants go in among them, and by tender caressing engage their attention, till the coolies slip under the huge beasts and tie their feet with ropes to the trees. This done, they can be left till subdued by hunger, when they are easily tamed for the service of man.

These creatures still have the range of the forests. In riding through the woods one may often hear the breaking of trees, as wild elephants crash through the dense thicket. I had supposed that all kinds of wild beasts were very much reduced in India under English rule. The hunters say they are so much so as to destroy the sport. But my companion thinks not, for two reasons: the government has made stringent laws against the destruction of forests; and since the mutiny the natives are not allowed to carry fire-arms.

We might have startled a leopard anywhere on the mountain side. A young Scotchman whom we met with his rifle on his shoulder, said he had shot two a fortnight ago, but that there was a very big one about, which he had seen several times, but could never get a shot at, but he hoped to bring him down before long.

With such chat as this we trotted up the mountain road, till we came to where it divides, where, leaving Mr. Herron and C—— to go on straight to Landour, we turned to the left to make a flying visit to the other hill station of Mussoorie. As we rode along, Mr. Woodside pointed out to me 194 the spot where, a few weeks before, his horse had backed off a precipice, and been dashed to pieces. Fortunately he was not on his back (he had alighted to make a call), or the horse and his rider might have gone over together. As we wound up the road he recalled another incident, which occurred several years ago: "I had been to attend an evening reception at the Young Ladies' school (which we had just left), and about eleven o'clock mounted to ride home. I had a white horse, and it was a bright moonlight night, and as I rode up the hill, just as I turned a corner in the road there (pointing to the spot) I saw a huge leopard crouching in the attitude of preparing to spring. I rose up in the saddle (my friend is a man of giant stature) and shouted at the top of my voice, and the beast, not knowing what strange monster he had encountered, leaped over the bank and disappeared."

"The next day," he added, "I was telling the story to a gentleman, who replied, 'You were very fortunate to escape so,' and then related an incident of his own, in which a leopard sprang upon his horse, which the fright caused to give such a bound that the brute fell off, and the horse starting at full speed, they escaped. But he felt that the escape was so providential that he had thanks returned in the church the next Sabbath for his deliverance from a sudden death."

Thus listening to my companion's adventures, we rode along the ridge of Mussoorie to its highest point, which commands a grand view of the Snowy Range. Here stands a convent, which educates hundreds of the daughters of Protestant Englishmen, as well as those of its own faith. Thus the Catholic Church plants its outposts on the very crests of the mountains.

At Landour is another Catholic institution (for boys) called St. George's College, perhaps as a delicate flattery to Englishmen in taking the name of their guardian saint. It has a chime of bells, which at that height and that hour 195 strikes the ear with singular and touching effect. It may well stir up our Protestant friends, both to admire and to imitate, as it furnishes a new proof of the omnipresence of Rome, when the traveller finds its convents, and hears the chime of its vesper bells, on the heights and amid the valleys of the Himalayas.

But the sun was sinking, and it was four miles from Mussoorie to Landour, where we were to make our second attempt to see the snows. Turning our horses, we rode at full speed along the ridge of the mountain, and reached the top of Lal Tiba before sunset, but only to be again disappointed. Northward and eastward the clouds hung upon the great mountains. But if one part of the horizon was hidden, on the other we looked over the top of the Sewalic range, to where the red and fiery sun was sinking in a bank of cloud—not "clouds full of rain," but merely clouds of dust, rolling upward "like the smoke of a furnace" from the hot plains of India. In the foreground was the soft, green valley of Dehra Doon, more beautiful from the contrast with the burning plains beyond. It was a peaceful landscape, as the shadows of evening were gathering over it. From this we turned to watch the light as it crept up the sides of the mountains. The panorama was constantly changing, and every instant took on some new feature of grandeur. As daylight faded, another light flashed out behind us, for the mountains were on fire. It is a custom of the people, who are herdsmen, to burn off the low brush (as the Indians burned over the prairies), that the grass may spring up fresh and green for their flocks and cattle; and it was a fearful spectacle, that of these great belts of fire running along the mountain side, and lighting up the black gorges below.

Giving our horses to the guides to be led down the declivity, we walked down a narrow path in the rocks that led to Woodstock, a female seminary, built on a kind of terrace half a mile below—a most picturesque spot (none the less 196 romantic because a tiger had once carried off a man from the foot of the ravine a few rods below the house), and there, around a cheerful table, and before a roaring fire, forgot the fatigues of the day, and hoped for sunshine on the morrow.

It was not yet daylight when we awoke. The stars were shining when we came out on the terrace, and the waning moon still hung its crescent overhead. A faint light began to glimmer in the east. We were quickly muffled up (for it was cold) and climbing up the steep path to Lal Tiba, hoping yet trembling. I was soon out of breath, and had more than once to sit down on the rocks to recover myself. But in a moment I would rise and rush on again, so eager was I with hope, and yet so fearful of disappointment. One more pull and we were on the top, and behold the glory of God spread abroad upon the mountains! Our perseverance was rewarded at last. There were the Himalayas—the great mountains of India, of Asia, of the globe. The snowy range was in full view for more than a hundred miles. The sun had not yet risen, but his golden limb now touched the east, and as the great round orb rose above the horizon, it seemed as if God himself were coming to illumine the universe which he had created. One after another the distant peaks caught the light upon their fields of snow, and sent it back as if they were the shining gates of the heavenly city. One could almost look up to them as Divine intelligences, and address them in the lines of the old hymn:

These glorious minds, how bright they shine,

Whence all their white array?

How came they to the happy seats

Of everlasting day?

But restraining our enthusiasm for the moment, let us look at the configuration of this Snowy Range, simply as a study in geography. We are in presence of the highest mountains on the globe. We are on the border of that table-land of Asia 197 ("High Asia") which the Arabs in their poetical language call "The Roof of the World." Yonder pass leads over into Thibet. The trend of the mountains is from southeast to northwest, almost belting the continent. Indeed, physical geographers trace it much farther, following it down on one hand through the Malayan Peninsula and on the other running it through the Hindoo Koosh (or Caucasus) northwest to Mt. Ararat in Armenia; and across into Europe, through Turkey and Greece, to the Alps and the Pyrenees, forming what the Arabs call "The Stony Girdle of the Earth." But the centre of that girdle, the clasp of that mighty zone, is here.

It is difficult to form an idea of the altitude of mountains, when we have no basis of comparison in those which are familiar. But nature here is on another scale than we have seen it before. In Europe Mont Blanc is "the monarch of mountains," but yonder peak, Nunda Davee, which shows above the horizon at the distance of a hundred and ten miles, is 25,600 feet high—that is, nearly two miles higher than Mont Blanc! There are others still higher—Kinchinganga and Dwalaghiri—but they are not in sight, as they are farther east in Nepaul. But from Darjeeling, a hill station much frequented in the summer months by residents of Calcutta, one may get an unobstructed view of Mount Everest, 29,000 feet high, the loftiest summit on the globe. And here before us are a number of peaks, twenty-two, twenty-three, and twenty-four thousand feet high—higher than Chimborazo, or any peak of the Andes.

Perhaps the Himalayas are less impressive than the Alps in proportion, because the snow line is so much higher. In Switzerland we reach the line of perpetual snow at 8,900 feet, so that the Jungfrau, which is less than 14,000 feet, has a full mile of snow covering her virgin breast. But here the traveller must ascend 18,000 feet, nearly two miles higher, before he comes to the line of perpetual snow. It is considered a great achievement of the most daring Alpine climbers 198 to reach the top of the Jungfrau or the Matterhorn, but here many of the passes are higher than the summit of either. Dr. Bellew, who accompanied the expedition of Sir Douglas Forsyth three years since to Yarkund and Kashgar, told me they crossed passes 19,000 feet high, nearly 4,000 feet higher than Mont Blanc. He said they did not need a guide, for that the path was marked by bones of men and beasts that had perished by the way; the bodies lying where they fell, for no beast or bird lives at that far height, neither vulture nor jackal, while the intense cold preserved the bodies from decay.

But the Himalayas are not all heights, but heights and depths. The mountains are divided by valleys. From where we stand the eye sweeps over the tops of nine or ten separate ranges, with valleys between, in which are scattered hundreds of villages. The enterprising traveller may descend into these deep places of the earth, and make his toilsome way over one range after another, till he reaches the snows. But he will find it a fourteen days' march. My companion had once spent six weeks in a missionary tour among these villages.

Wilson, the author of "The Abode of Snow,"[5] who spent months in travelling through the Inner Himalayas, from Thibet to Cashmere, makes a comparison of these mountains with the Alps. There are some advantages to be claimed for the latter. Not only are they more accessible, but combine in a smaller space more variety. Their sides are more generally clothed with forests, which are mirrored in those beautiful sheets of water that give such a charm both to Swiss and 199 Scottish scenery. But in the Himalayas there is hardly a lake to be seen until one enters the Vale of Cashmere. Then the Alps have more of the human element, in the picturesque Swiss villages. The traveller looks down from snow-covered mountains into valleys with meadows and houses and the spires of churches. But in the Himalayas there is not a sign of civilization, and hardly of habitation. Occasionally a village or a Buddhist monastery may stand out picturesquely on the top of a hill, but generally the mountains are given up to utter desolation.

"But," says Wilson, "when all these admissions in favor of Switzerland are made, the Himalayas still remain unsurpassed, and even unapproached, as regards all the wilder and grander features of mountain scenery. There is nothing in the Alps which can afford even a faint idea of the savage desolation and appalling sublimity of many of the Himalayan scenes. Nowhere have the faces of the rocks been so scarred and riven by the nightly action of frost and the midday floods from melting snow. In almost every valley we see places where whole peaks or sides of great mountains have very recently come shattering down."

This constant action of the elements sometimes carves the sides of the mountains into castellated forms, like the cañons of the Yellowstone and the Colorado:

"Gigantic mural precipices, bastions, towers, castles, citadels, and spires rise up thousands of feet in height, mocking in their immensity and grandeur the puny efforts of human art; while yet higher the domes of pure white snow and glittering spires of ice far surpass in perfection, as well as in immensity, all the Moslem musjids and minars."

But more impressive than the most fantastic or imposing forms are the vast spaces of untrodden snow, and the awful solitudes and silences of the upper air. No wonder that the Hindoos made this inaccessible region the dwelling-place of their gods. It is their Kylas, or Heaven. The peak of Badrinath, 24,000 feet high, is the abode of Vishnu; and that 200 of Kedarnath, 23,000, is the abode of Shiva—two of the Hindoo Trinity. Nunda Davee (the goddess Nunda) is the wife of Shiva. Around these summits gathers the whole Hindoo mythology. Yonder, where we see a slight hollow in the mountains, is Gungootree, where the Ganges takes its rise, issuing from a great glacier by a fissure, or icy cavern, worn underneath, called the Cow's Mouth. Farther to the west is Jumnootree, the source of the Jumna. Both these places are very sacred in the eyes of the Hindoos, and as near to them as any structure can be placed, are shrines, which are visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all parts of India.

Thus these snowy heights are to the Hindoo Mount Sinai and Calvary in one. Here is not only the summit where God gave the law, but where God dwells evermore, and out of which issue the sacred rivers, which are like the rivers of the water of life flowing out of the throne of God; or like the blood of atonement, to wash away the sins of the world.

But the associations of this spot are not all of Hindooism and idolatry. True, we are in a wintry region, but there is an Alpine flower that grows at the foot of the snows. Close to Lal Tiba I observed a large tree of rhododendrons, in full bloom, although it was February, their scarlet blossoms contrasting with the snow which had fallen on them the night before. But the fairest blossom on that Alpine height is a Christian church. Lal Tiba itself belongs to the Presbyterian mission, and adjoining it is the house of the missionaries. On the ridge is a mission church, built chiefly by the indefatigable efforts of Mr. Woodside. It is a modest, yet tasteful building, standing on a point of rock, which is in full view of the Snowy Range, and overlooks the whole mountain landscape. It was like a banner in the sky—that white church—standing on such a height, as if it were in the clouds, looking across at the mighty range beyond, and smiling at the eternal snows! 201

The hardest thing in going round the world, is to break away from friends. Not the friends we have left in America, for those we may hope to see again, but the friends made along the way. One meets so many kind people, and enters so many hospitable homes, that to part from them is an ever-renewing sorrow and regret. We have found many such homes in India, but none in which we would linger more than in this lovely Vale of Dehra Doon.

One attraction is the Girls' School, which we might almost call the missionary flower of India. The building, which would be a "Seminary" at home, stands in the midst of ample grounds, where, in the intervals of study, the inmates can find healthful exercise. The pupils are mostly the daughters of native Christians—converted Hindoos or Mohammedans. Some are orphans, or have been forsaken by their parents, and have thus fallen to the care of an institution which is more to them than their natural fathers and mothers. Many of these young girls had very sweet faces, and all were as modest and well behaved as the girls I have seen in any similar institution in our own country. Some are adopted by friends in America, who engage to provide for their education. Wishing to have a part in this good work, we looked about the school till we picked out the veriest morsel of a creature, as small as Dickens's Tiny Tim—but whose eyes were very bright, and her mind as active as her body was frail, and C—— thereupon adopted her and paid down a hundred rupees for a year's board and teaching. She is by birth a Mohammedan, but will be trained up as a Christian. She is very winning in her ways; and, dear me, when the little creature crept up into my lap, and looked up into my face with her great black eyes, it was such an appeal for love and protection as I could not resist; and when she put her thin arms around my neck, I felt richer than if I had been encircled with one of those necklaces of pearl, which the Rajahs were just then throwing around the neck of the Prince of Wales. 202

Our last day was spent in a visit to the tea plantations. The culture of tea has been introduced into India within a few years, and portions of the country are found so favorable that the tea is thought by many equal to that imported from China. Mr. Woodside took us out in a carriage a few miles, when we left the road and crossed the fields on the back of an elephant, which is a better "coigne of vantage" than the back of a horse, as the rider is lifted up higher into the air, and in passing under trees can stretch out his hand (as we did) and pick blossoms and birds' nests from the branches; but there is a rolling motion a little too much like "life on an ocean wave," and if it were not for the glory of the thing I confess I should rather have under me some steady old trotter, such as I have had at home, or even one of the little donkeys with which we used to amble about the streets of Cairo. But there are times when one would prefer the elephant, as if he should chance to meet a tiger! The beast we were riding this morning was an old tiger hunter, that had often been out in the jungle, and as he marched off, seemed as if he would like nothing better than to smell his old enemy. In a deadly combat the tiger has the advantage in quickness of motion, and can spring upon the elephant's neck, but if the latter can get his trunk around him he is done for, for he is instantly dashed to the ground, and trampled to death under the monster's feet. We had no occasion to test his courage, though, if what we heard was true, he might have found game not far off, for a native village through which we passed was just then in terror because of a tiger who had lately come about and carried off several bullocks only a few days before, and they had sent to Mr. Bell, a tea planter whom we met later in the day, to come and shoot him. He told me he would come willingly, but that the natives were of a low caste, who had not the Hindoos' horror of touching such food, and devoured the half eaten bullock. If, he said, they would only let the carcass alone, the tiger always comes back, and 203 he would plant himself in some post of observation, and with a rifle which never failed would soon relieve them of their terrible enemy.

After an hour of this cross-country riding, our elephant drew up before the door of a large house; a ladder was brought, and we clambered down his sides. Just then we heard the sharp cracks of a gun, and the planter came in, saying that he had been picking off monkeys which were a little troublesome in his garden. This was Mr. Nelson, one of the largest planters in the valley, with whom we had engaged to take tiffin. He took us over his plantation, which is laid out on a grand scale, many acres being set in rows with the tea plant, which is a small shrub, about as large as a gooseberry bush, from which the leaves are carefully picked. The green tea is not a different plant from the black tea, but only differently prepared. From the plantation we were taken to the roasting-house, where the tea lay upon the floor in great heaps, like heaps of grain; and where it is subjected to a variety of processes, to prepare it for use or for exportation. It is first "wilted" in large copper pans or ovens; then "rolled" on a table of stretched matting; then slightly dried, and put back in the ovens; then rolled again; and finally subjected to a good "roasting," by which time every drop of moisture is got out of it, and it acquires the peculiar twist, or shrivelled look, so well known to dainty lovers of the cup which cheers but not inebriates. How perfect was the growing and the preparation appeared when we sat down at the generous table, where we found the flavor as delicate as that of any we had ever sipped that came from the Flowery Land.

Leaving this kind and hospitable family, we rode on to the plantation of Mr. Bell, who had the "engagement" to shoot the tiger. He is a brave Scot, very fond of sport, and had a room full of stuffed birds, which he was going to send off to Australia. Occasionally he had a shot at other game. Once 204 he had brought down a leopard, and, as he said, thought the beast was "deed," and went up to him, when the brute gave a spring, and tore open his leg, which laid him up for two months. But such beasts are really less dangerous than the cobras, which crawl among the rows of plants, and as the field-hands go among them barefoot, some fall victims every year. But an Englishman is protected by his boots, and Mr. Bell strolls about with his dog and his gun, without the slightest sense of danger.

We had now accomplished our visit to the Himalayas, and were to bid adieu to the mountains and the valleys. But how were we to get back to Saharanpur? There was the mail-wagon and the omnibuckus. But these seemed very prosaic after our mountain raptures. Mr. Herron suggested that we should try dooleys—long palanquins in which we could lie down and sleep (perhaps), and thus be carried over the mountains at night. As we were eager for new experiences, of course we were ready for any novelty. But great bodies move slowly, and how great we were we began to realize when we found what a force it took to move us. Mr. Herron sent for the chaudri—a kind of public carrier whose office it is to provide for such services—and an engagement was formally entered into between the high contracting parties that for a certain sum he was to provide two dooleys and a sufficient number of bearers, to carry us over the mountains to Saharanpur, a distance of forty-two miles. This was duly signed and sealed, and the money paid on the spot, with promise of liberal backsheesh at the end if the agreement was satisfactorily performed.

Thus authorized and empowered to enter into negotiations with inferior parties, the chaudri sent forward a courier, or sarbarah, to go ahead over the whole route a day in advance, and to secure the relays, and thus prepare for our royal progress.

This seemed very magnificent, but when our retinue filed 205 into the yard on the evening of our departure, and drew up before the veranda, we were almost ashamed to see what a prodigious ado it took to get us two poor mortals out of the valley. Our escort was as follows: Each dooley had six bearers, or kahars—four to carry it, and two to be ready as a reserve. Besides these twelve, there were two bahangi-wallas to carry our one trunk on a bamboo pole, making fourteen persons in all. As there were five stages (for one set of men could only go about eight miles), it took seventy men (besides the two high officials) to carry our sacred persons these forty-two miles! Of the reserve of four who walked beside us, two performed the function of torch-bearers—no unimportant matter when traversing a forest so full of wild beasts that the natives cannot be induced to cross it at night without lights kept burning.

The torch was made simply by winding a piece of cloth around the end of a stick, and pouring oil upon it from a bottle carried for the purpose (just the mode of the wise virgins in the parable). Our kind friends had put a mattress in each dooley, with pillows and coverlet, so that if we could not quite go to bed, we could make ourselves comfortable for a night's journey. I took off my boots, and wrapping my feet in the soft fur of the skin of the Himalayan goat, which I had purchased in the mountains, stretched myself

Like a warrior taking his rest,

With his martial cloak around him,

and bade the cavalcade take up its march. They lighted their torches, and like the wise virgins, "took oil in their vessels with their lamps," and set out on our night journey. At first we wound our way through the streets of the town, through bazaars and past temples, till at last we emerged from all signs of human habitation, and were alone with the forests and the stars.

When we were fairly in the woods, all the stories I had 206 heard of wild beasts came back to me. For a week past I had been listening to thrilling incidents, many of which occurred in this very mountain pass. The Sewalic range is entirely uninhabited except along the roads, and is thus given up to wild beasts, and nowhere is one more likely to meet an adventure. That very morning, at breakfast, Mrs. Woodside had given me her experience. She was once crossing this pass at night, and as it came near the break of day she saw men running, and heard the cry of "tiger," but thought little of it, as the natives were apt to give false alarms; but presently the horses began to rear and plunge, so that the driver loosed them and let them go, and just then she heard a tremendous roar, which seemed close to the wagon, where a couple of the brutes had come down to drink of a brook by the roadside. She was so terrified that she did not dare to look out, but shut at once the windows of the gharri. Presently some soldiers came up the pass with elephants, who went in pursuit, but the monsters had retreated into the forest.

That was some years ago, but such incidents may still happen. Only a few weeks since Mr. Woodside was riding through the pass at night in the mail-wagon, and had dropped asleep, when his companion, a British officer, awoke him, telling him he had just seen a couple of tigers distinctly in the moonlight.

One would suppose we were safe enough with more than a dozen attendants, but the natives are very timid, and a tiger's roar will set them flying. A lady at Dehra, the daughter of a missionary, told us how she was once carried with her mother and one or two other children in dooleys, when just at break of day a huge tiger walked out of a wood, and came right towards them, when the brave coolies at once dropped them and ran, leaving the mother and her children to their fate. Fortunately she had presence of mind to light a piece of matting, and throw it out to the 207 brute, who either from that, or perhaps because he was too noble a beast to attack a woman, after eyeing them for some moments, deliberately walked away.

Such associations with the road we were travelling, gave an excitement to our night journey which was not the most composing to sleep. It is very well to sit by the fireside and talk about tigers, but I do not know of anybody who would care to meet one in the woods, unless well armed and on an elephant's back.

But what if a wild elephant should come out upon us? In general, I believe these are quiet and peaceable beasts, but they are subject to a kind of madness which makes them untamable. A "rogue elephant"—one who has been tamed, and afterwards goes back to his savage state—is one of the most dangerous of wild beasts. When the Prince of Wales was hunting in the Terai with Sir Jung Bahadoor, an alarm was given that a rogue elephant was coming, and they pushed the Prince up into a tree as quickly as possible, for the monster has no respect to majesty. Mrs. Woodside told me that they once had a servant who asked to go home to visit his friends. On his way he lay down at the foot of a tree, and fell asleep, when a rogue elephant came along, and took him up like a kitten, and crushed him in an instant, and threw him on the roadside.

The possibility of such an adventure was quite enough to keep our imagination in lively exercise. Our friends had told us that there was no danger with flaming torches, although we might perhaps hear a distant roar on the mountains, or an elephant breaking through the trees. We listened intently. When the men were moving on in silence, we strained our ears to catch any sound that might break the stillness of the forest. If a branch fell from a tree, it might be an elephant coming through the wood. If we could not see, we imagined forms gliding in the darkness. Even the shadows cast by the starlight took the shapes that we dreaded. 208 Hush! there is a stealthy step over the fallen leaves. No, it is the wind whispering in the trees. Thus was it all night long. If any wild beasts glared on us out of the covert, our flaming torches kept them at a respectful distance. We did not hear the tramp of an elephant, the growl of a tiger, or even the cry of a jackal.

But though we had not the excitement of an adventure, the scene itself was wild and weird enough. We were entirely alone, with more than a dozen men, with not one of whom we could exchange a single word, traversing a mountain pass, with miles of forest and jungle separating us from any habitation. Our attendants were men of powerful physique, whose swarthy limbs and strange faces looked more strange than ever by the torchlight. Once in seven or eight miles they set down their burden. We halted at a camp fire by the roadside, where a fresh relay was waiting. There our fourteen men were swelled to twenty-eight. Then the curtain of my couch was gently drawn aside, a black head was thrust in, and a voice whispered in the softest of tones "Sahib, backsheesh!" Then the new bearers took up their load, and jogged on their way.

I must say they did very well. The motion was not unpleasant. The dooley rested not on two poles, but on one long bamboo, three or four inches in diameter, at each end of which two men braced themselves against each other, and moved forward with a swinging gait, a kind of dog trot, which they accompanied with a low grunt, which seemed to relieve them, and be a way of keeping time. Their burdens did not fatigue them much—at least they did not groan under the load, but talked and laughed by the way. Nor were luxuries forgotten. One of the men carried a hooka, which served for the whole party, being passed from mouth to mouth, with which the men, when off duty, refreshed themselves with many a puff of the fragrant weed.

Thus refreshed they kept up a steady gait of about three 209 miles an hour through the night. At length the day began to break. As we approached the end of our journey the men picked up speed, and I thought they would come in on a run. Glad were we to come in sight of Saharanpur. At ten o'clock we entered the Mission Compound, and drew up before the door of "Calderwood Padre," who, as he saw me stretched out at full length, "like a warrior taking his rest," if not "with his martial cloak around him," yet with his Scotch plaid shawl covering "his manly breast," declared that I was "an old Indian!"




The interest of India is not wholly in the far historic past. Within our own times it has been the theatre of stirring events. In coming down from Upper India, we passed over the "dark and bloody ground" of the Mutiny—one of the most terrible struggles of modern times—a struggle unrelieved by any of the amenities of civilized warfare. On the banks of the Ganges stands a dull old city, of which Bayard Taylor once wrote: "Cawnpore is a pleasant spot, though it contains nothing whatever to interest the traveller." That was true when he saw it, twenty-four years ago. It was then a "sleepy" place. Everything had a quiet and peaceful look. The river flowed peacefully along, and the pretty bungalows of the English residents on its banks seemed like so many castles of indolence, as they stood enclosed in spacious grounds, under the shade of trees, whose leaves scarcely stirred in the sultry air. But four years after that American traveller had passed, that peaceful river ran with Christian blood, and that old Indian town witnessed scenes of cruelty worse than that of the Black Hole of Calcutta, committed by a monster more inhuman than Surajah Dowlah. The memory of those scenes now gives a melancholy interest to the place, such as belongs to no other in India.

It was midnight when we reached Cawnpore (we had left Saharanpur in the morning), and we were utter strangers; but as we stepped from the railway carriage, a stalwart American (Rev. Mr. Mansell of the Methodist Mission) came up, 211 and calling us by name, took us to his home, and "kindly entreated us," and the next morning rode about the city with us to show the sadly memorable places.

The outbreak of the Mutiny in India in 1857, took its English rulers by surprise. They had held the country for a hundred years, and thought they could hold it forever. So secure did they feel that they had reduced their army to a minimum. In the Russian war, regiment after regiment was called home to serve in the Crimea, till there were left not more than twenty thousand British troops in all India—an insignificant force to hold such a vast dependency; and weakened still more by being scattered in small bodies over the country, with no means of rapid concentration. There was hardly a railroad in India. All movements of troops had to be made by long marches. Thus detached and helpless, the military power was really in the hands of the Sepoys, who garrisoned the towns, and whom the English had trained to be good soldiers, with no suspicion that their skill and discipline would ever be turned against themselves.

This was the opportunity for smothered discontent to break out into open rebellion. There had long been among the people an uneasy and restless feeling, such as is the precursor of revolution—a ground swell, which sometimes comes before as well as after a storm. It was just a hundred years since the battle of Plassey (fought June, 1757), which decided the fate of India, and it was whispered that when the century was complete, the English yoke should be broken, and India should be free. The Crimean war had aroused a spirit of fanaticism among the Mohammedans, which extended across the whole of Asia, and fierce Moslems believed that if the English were but driven out, there might be a reconstruction of the splendid old Mogul Empire. This was, therefore, a critical moment, in which the defenceless state of India offered a temptation to rebellion. Some there were (like the Lawrences—Sir John in the Punjaub, and Sir Henry in 212 Lucknow) whose eyes were opened to the danger, and who warned the government. But it could not believe a rebellion was possible; so that when the storm burst, it was like a peal of thunder from a clear sky.

Thus taken by surprise, and off their guard, the English were at a great disadvantage. But they quickly recovered themselves, and prepared for a desperate defence. In towns where the garrisons were chiefly of native troops, with only a small nucleus of English officers and soldiers, the latter had no hope of safety, but to rally all on whom they could rely, and retreat into the forts, and hold out to the last. Such a quick movement saved Agra, where Sir William Muir told me, he and hundreds of refugees with him, passed the whole time of the mutiny, shut up in the fort. The same promptness saved Allahabad. But in Delhi, where the rising took place a few days before, the alarm was not taken quickly enough; the Sepoys rushed in, shooting down their officers, and made themselves masters of the fort and the city, which was not retaken till months after, at the close of a long and terrible siege.

At Cawnpore there was no fort. Sir Hugh Wheeler, who was in command, had three or four thousand troops, but not one man in ten was an English soldier. The rest were Sepoys, who caught the fever of disaffection, and marched off with horses and guns. Mustering the little remnant of his force, he threw up intrenchments on the parade-ground, into which he gathered some two hundred and fifty men of different regiments. Adding to these "civilians" and native servants, and the sick in the hospital, there were about 300 more, with 330 women and children. The latter, of course, added nothing to the strength of the garrison, but were a constant subject of care and anxiety. But with this little force he defended himself bravely for several weeks, beating off every attack of the enemy. But he was in no condition to sustain a siege; his force was becoming rapidly 213 reduced, while foes were swarming around him. In this extremity, uncertain when an English army could come to his relief, he received a proposal to surrender, with the promise that all—men, women, and children—should be allowed to depart in safety, and be provided with boats to take them down the Ganges to Allahabad. He did not listen to these smooth promises without inward misgivings. He was suspicious of treachery; but the case was desperate, and Nana Sahib, who up to the time of the Mutiny had protested great friendship for the English, took a solemn oath that they should be protected. Thus tempted, they yielded to the fatal surrender.

The next morning, June 27th, those who were left of the little garrison marched out of their intrenchments, and were escorted by the Sepoy army on their way to the boats. The women and children and wounded were mounted on elephants, and thus conveyed down to the river. With eagerness they embarked on the boats that were to carry them to a place of safety, and pushed off into the stream. At that moment a native officer who stood on the bank raised his sword, and a masked battery opened on the boats with grape-shot. Instantly ensued a scene of despair. Some of the boats sunk, others took fire, and men, women, and children, were struggling in the water. The Mahratta horsemen pushed into the stream, and cut down the men who tried to save themselves (only four strong swimmers escaped), while the women and children were spared to a worse fate. All the men who were brought back to the shore were massacred on the spot, in the presence of this human tiger, who feasted his eyes with their blood; and about two hundred women and children were taken back into the town as prisoners, in deeper wretchedness than before. They were kept in close confinement nearly three weeks in dreadful uncertainty of their fate, till the middle of July, when Havelock was approaching by forced marches; and fearful that his prey 214 should escape, Nana Sahib gave orders that they should be put to death. No element of horror was wanting in that fearful tragedy. Says one who saw the bodies the next day, and whose wife and children were among those who perished:

"The poor ladies were ordered to come out, but neither threats nor persuasions could induce them to do so. They laid hold of each other by dozens, and clung so close that it was impossible to separate them, or drag them out of the building. The troopers therefore brought muskets, and after firing a great many shots from the doors and windows, rushed in with swords and bayonets. [One account says that, as Hindoos shrink from the touch of blood, five Mohammedan butchers were sent in to complete the work.] Some of the helpless creatures, in their agony, fell down at the feet of their murderers, clasped their legs, and begged in the most pitiful manner to spare their lives, but to no purpose. The fearful deed was done most deliberately, and in the midst of the most dreadful shrieks and cries of the victims. From a little before sunset till candlelight was occupied in completing the dreadful deed. The doors of the building were then locked up for the night, and the murderers went to their homes. Next morning it was found, on opening the doors, that some ten or fifteen women, with a few of the children, had managed to escape from death by falling and hiding under the murdered bodies of their fellow-prisoners. A fresh order was therefore sent to murder them also; but the survivors, not being able to bear the idea of being cut down, rushed out into the compound, and seeing a well, threw themselves into it without hesitation, thus putting a period to lives which it was impossible for them to save. The dead bodies of those murdered on the preceding evening were then ordered to be thrown into the same well, and 'jullars' were employed to drag them along like dogs."[6]

The next day after the massacre, Havelock entered the city, and officers and men rushed to the prison house, hoping 215 to be in time to save that unhappy company of English women and children. But what horrors met their sight! Not one living remained. The place showed traces of the late butchery. The floors were covered with blood. "Upon the walls and pillars were the marks of bullets, and of cuts made by sword-strokes, not high up as if men had fought with men, but low down, and about the corners, where the poor crouching victims had been cut to pieces." "Locks of long silky hair, torn shreds of dress, little children's shoes and playthings, were strewn around."

The sight of these things drove the soldiers to madness. "When they entered the charnel house, and read the writing on the walls [sentences of wretchedness and despair], and saw the still clotted blood, their grief, their rage, their desire for vengeance, knew no bounds. Stalwart, bearded men, the stern soldiers of the ranks, came out of that house perfectly unmanned, utterly unable to repress their emotions." Following the track of blood from the prison to the well, they found the mangled remains of all that martyred company. There the tender English mother had been cast with every indignity, and the child still living thrown down to die upon its mother's breast. Thus were they heaped together, the dying and the dead, in one writhing, palpitating mass.

Turning away from this ghastly sight, the soldiers asked only to meet face to face the perpetrators of these horrible atrocities. But the Sepoys, cowardly as they were cruel, fled at the approach of the English. Those who were taken had to suffer for the whole. "All the rebel Sepoys and troopers who were captured, were collectively tried by a drumhead court-martial, and hanged." But for such a crime as the cold-blooded murder of helpless women and children, death was not enough—it should be death accompanied by shame and degradation. The craven wretches were made to clean away the clotted blood—a task peculiarly odious to a Hindoo. Says General Neill: 216

"Whenever a rebel is caught, he is immediately tried, and unless he can prove a defence, he is sentenced to be hanged at once; but the chief rebels, or ringleaders, I make first clear up a certain portion of the pool of blood, still two inches deep in the shed where the fearful murder and mutilation of women and children took place. To touch blood is most abhorrent to the high-caste natives; they think by doing so, they doom their souls to perdition. Let them think so. My object is to inflict a fearful punishment for a revolting, cowardly, and barbarous deed, and to strike terror into these rebels.

"The first I caught was a subahdar, or native officer—a high-caste Brahmin, who tried to resist my order to clean up the very blood he had helped to shed; but I made the provost-marshal do his duty, and a few lashes made the miscreant accomplish his task. When done, he was taken out and immediately hanged, and after death, buried in a ditch at the roadside. No one who has witnessed the scenes of murder, mutilation, and massacre, can ever listen to the word mercy, as applied to these fiends.

"Among other wretches drawn from their skulking places, was the man who gave Nana Sahib's orders for the massacre. After this man's identity had been clearly established, and his complicity in directing the massacre proved beyond all doubt, he was compelled, upon his knees, to cleanse up a portion of the blood yet scattered over the fatal yard, and while yet foul from his sickening task, hung like a dog before the gratified soldiers, one of whom writes: 'The collector who gave the order for the murder of the poor ladies, was taken prisoner day before yesterday, and now hangs from a branch of a tree about two hundred yards off the roadside.'"

What became of Nana Sahib after the Mutiny, is a mystery that probably will never be solved. If he lived he sought safety in flight. Many of the Mutineers took refuge in the jungle. The Government kept up a hunt for him for years. Several times it was thought that he was discovered. Only a year or two ago a man was arrested, who was said to be Nana Sahib, but it proved to be a case of mistaken identity. In going up from Delhi we rode in the same railway carriage with an old army surgeon, whose testimony saved the life of the suspected man. He had lived in Cawnpore before the Mutiny, and knew Nana Sahib well, 217 indeed had been his physician, and gave me much information about the bloody Mahratta chief. He said he was not so bad a man by nature, as he became when he was put forward as a leader in a desperate enterprise, and surrounded by men who urged him on to every crime. So long as he was under the wholesome restraint of English power, he was a fair specimen of the "mild Hindoo," "as mild a mannered man as ever scuttled ship or cut a throat." His movement was as soft as that of a cat or a tiger. But like the tiger, when once he tasted blood, it roused the wild beast in him, and he took a delight in killing. And so he who might have lived quietly, and died in his bed, with a reputation not worse than that of other Indian rulers, has left a name in history as the most execrable monster of modern times. It seems a defeat of justice that he cannot be discovered and brought to the scaffold. But perhaps the judgment of God is more severe than that of man. If he still lives, he has suffered a thousand deaths in these twenty years.

My informant told me of the punishment that had come on many of these men of blood. Retribution followed hard after their crimes. When the rebellion was subdued, it was stamped out without mercy. The leaders were shot away from guns. Others who were only less guilty had a short trial and a swift punishment. In this work of meting out retribution, this mild physician was himself obliged to be an instrument. Though his profession was that of saving lives, and not of destroying them, after the Mutiny he was appointed a Commissioner in the district of Cawnpore, where he had lived, to try insurgents, with the power of life and death, and with no appeal from his sentence! It was a terrible responsibility, but he could not shrink from it, and he had to execute many. Those especially who had been guilty of acts of cruelty, could not ask for mercy which they had never shown. Among those whom he captured was the native officer who had given the signal, by raising his sword, 218 to the masked battery to fire on the boats. He said, "I took him to that very spot, and hung him there!" All this sad history was in mind as we went down to the banks of the Ganges, where that fearful tragedy took place not twenty years before. The place still bears the name of the Slaughter Ghat, in memory of that fearful deed. We imagined the scene that summer's morning, when the stream was covered with the bodies of women and children, and the air was filled with the shrieks of despair. With such bitter memories, we recalled the swift retribution, and rejoiced that such a crime had met with such a punishment.

From the river we drove to "the well," but here nothing is painful but its memories. It is holy ground, which pious hands have decked with flowers, and consecrated as a shrine of martyrdom. Around it many acres have been laid out as a garden, with all manner of tropical plants, and well-kept paths winding between, along which the stranger walks slowly and sadly, thinking of those who suffered so much in life, and that now sleep peacefully beyond the reach of pain. In the centre of the garden the place of the well is enclosed, and over the sacred spot where the bodies of the dead were thrown, stands a figure in marble, which might be that of the angel of Resignation or of Peace, with folded wings and face slightly bended, and arms across her breast, and in her hands palm-branches, the emblems of victory.

The visit to these spots, consecrated by so much suffering, had an added tenderness of interest, because some of our own countrymen and countrywomen perished there. In those fearful scenes the blood of Americans—men, women, and children—mingled with that of their English kindred. One of the most terrible incidents of those weeks of crime, was the massacre of a party from Futteghur that tried to escape down the Ganges, hoping to reach Allahabad. As they approached Cawnpore, they concealed themselves in the tall grass on an island, but were discovered by the Sepoys, and 219 made prisoners. Some of the party were wealthy English residents, who offered a large ransom for their lives. But their captors answered roughly: "What they wanted was not money, but blood!" Brought before Nana Sahib, he ordered them instantly to be put to death. Among them were four American missionaries, with their wives, who showed in that hour of trial that they knew how to suffer and to die. Of one of these I had heard a very touching story but a few days before from my friend, Mr. Woodside. When we were standing on the lower range of the Himalayas, looking off to "the snows," he told me how he had once made an expedition with a brother missionary among these mountains, which are full of villages, like the hamlets in the High Alps. He pointed out in the distance the very route they took, and even places on the sides of the successive ranges where they pitched their tents. They started near the close of September, and were out all October, and came in about the middle of November, being gone six weeks. After long and weary marches for many days, they came to a little village called Karsali near Jumnootree, the source of the sacred river Jumna, near which rose a giant peak, 19,000 feet high (though we could but just see it on the horizon), that till then had never been trodden by human foot, but which they, like the daring Americans they were, determined to ascend. Their guides shrank from the attempt, and refused to accompany them; but they determined to make the ascent if they went alone, and at last, rather than be left behind, their men followed, although one sank down in the snow, and could not reach the summit. But the young missionaries pressed on with fresh ardor, as they climbed higher and higher. As they reached the upper altitudes, the summit, which to us at a distance of ninety miles seemed but a peak or cone, broadened out into a plateau of miles in extent; the snow was firm and hard; they feared no crevasses, and strode on with fearless steps. But there was something awful in the silence and the solitude. 220 Not a living thing could be seen on the face of earth or sky. Not a bird soared to such heights; not an eagle or a vulture was abroad in search of prey; not a bone on the waste of snow told where any adventurous explorer had perished before them. Alone they marched over the fields of untrodden snow, and started almost to hear their own voices in that upper air. And yet such was their sense of freedom, that they could not contain their joy. My companion, said Mr. Woodside, was very fond of a little hymn in Hindostanee, a translation of the familiar lines:

I'm a pilgrim, I'm a stranger,

And I tarry but a night,

and as we went upward, he burst into singing, and sang joyously as he strode over the fields of snow. Little he thought that the end of his pilgrimage was so near! But six months later the Mutiny broke out, and he was one of its first victims. He was of the party from Futteghur, with a fate made more dreadful, because he had with him not only his wife, but two children, and the monster spared neither age nor sex. After the Mutiny, Mr. Woodside visited Cawnpore, and made diligent inquiry for the particulars of his friend's death. It was difficult to get the details, as the natives were very reticent, lest they should be accused; but as near as he could learn, "Brother Campbell," as he spoke of him, was led out with his wife—he holding one child in his arms, and she leading another by the hand—and thus all together they met their fate! Does this seem very hard? Yet was it not sweet that they could thus die together, and could come up (like the family of Christian in Pilgrim's Progress) in one group to the wicket gate? No need had he to sing any more:

I'm a pilgrim, I'm a stranger,

And I tarry but a night,

221 for on that summer morning he passed up a shining pathway, whiter than the fields of snow on the crest of the Himalayas, that led him straight to the gates of gold. Let no man complain of the sacrifice, who would claim the reward; for so it is written, "It is through much tribulation that we must enter into the Kingdom of God."




"You are going to Lucknow?" she said. It was a lady in black, who sat in the corner of the railway carriage, as we came down from Upper India. A cloud passed over her face. "I cannot go there; I was in the Residency during the siege, and my husband and daughter were killed there. I cannot revisit a place of such sad memories." It was nothing to her that the long struggle had ended in victory, and that the story of the siege was one of the most glorious in English history. Nothing could efface the impression of those months of suffering. She told us how day and night the storm of fire raged around them; how the women took refuge in the cellars; how her daughter was killed before her eyes by the bursting of a shell; and how, when they grew familiar with this danger, there came another terrible fear—that of death by famine; how strong men grew weak for want of food; how women wasted away from very hunger, and children died because they could find no nourishment on their mother's breasts.

But amid those horrors there was one figure which she loved to recall—that of Sir Henry Lawrence, the lion-hearted soldier, who kept up all hearts by his courage and his iron will—till he too fell, and left them almost in despair.

Such memories might keep away one who had been a sufferer in these fearful scenes, but they stimulated our desire to see a spot associated with such courage and devotion, and 223 led us from the scene of the tragedy of Cawnpore to that of the siege of Lucknow.

But how soon nature washes away the stain of blood! As we crossed the Ganges, the gentle stream, rippling against the Slaughter Ghat, left no red spots upon its stony steps. Near the station was a large enclosure full of elephants, some of which perhaps had carried their burden of prisoners down to the river's brink on that fatal day, but were now "taking their ease," as beasts and men like to do. Familiar as we are with the sight, it always gives us a fresh impression of our Asiatic surroundings, to come suddenly upon a herd of these creatures of such enormous bulk, with ears as large as umbrellas, which are kept moving like punkas to keep off the flies; to see them drawing up water into their trunks, as "Behemoth drinketh up Jordan," and spurting it over their backs; or what is more ludicrous still, to see them at play, which seems entirely out of character. We think of the elephant as a grave and solemn creature, made to figure on grand occasions, to march in triumphal processions, carrying the howdahs of great Rajahs, covered with cloth of gold. But there is as much of "youth" in the elephant as in any other beast. A baby elephant is like any other baby. As little tigers play like kittens, so a little elephant is like a colt, or like "Mary's little lamb."

Lucknow is only forty miles from Cawnpore, with which it is connected by railway. A vast plain stretches to the gates of the capital of Oude. It was evening when we reached our destination, where another American friend, Rev. Mr. Mudge of the Methodist Mission, was waiting to receive us. A ride of perhaps a couple of miles through the streets and bazaars gave us some idea of the extent of a city which ranks among the first in India. Daylight showed us still more of its extent and its magnificence. It spreads out many miles over the plain, and has a population of three hundred thousand, while in splendor it is the first of the 224 native cities of India—by native I mean one not taking its character, like Calcutta and Bombay, from the English element. Lucknow is more purely an Indian city, and has more of the Oriental style in its architecture—its domes and minarets reminding us of Cairo and Constantinople. Bayard Taylor says: "The coup d'œil from one of the bridges over the Goomtee, resembles that of Constantinople from the bridge over the Golden Horn, and is more imposing, more picturesque, and more truly Oriental than any other city in India." It is a Mohammedan city, as much as Delhi, the mosques quite overshadowing the Hindoo temples; and the Mohurrim, the great Moslem festival, is observed here with the same fanaticism. But it is much larger than Delhi, and though no single palaces equal those of the old Moguls, yet it has more the appearance of a modern capital, in its busy and crowded streets. It is a great commercial city, with rich merchants, with artificers in silver and gold and all the fabrics of the East.

But the interest of Lucknow, derived from the fact of its being one of the most populous cities of India, and one of the most splendid, is quite eclipsed by the thrilling events of its recent history. All its palaces and mosques have not the attraction of one sacred spot. This is the Residency, the scene of the siege, which will make the name of Lucknow immortal. How the struggle came, we may see by recalling one or two facts in the history of India.

A quarter of a century ago, this was not a part of the British possessions. It was the Kingdom of Oude, with a sovereign who still lives in a palace near Calcutta, with large revenues wherewith to indulge his royal pleasure, but without his kingdom, which the English Government has taken from him. This occurred just before the Mutiny, and has often been alleged as one of the causes, if not the cause, of the outbreak; and England has been loudly accused of perfidy and treachery towards an Indian prince, 225 and of having brought upon herself the terrible events which followed.

No doubt the English Government has often carried things with a high hand in India, and done acts which cannot be defended, just as we must confess that our own Government, in dealing with our Indian tribes, has sometimes seemed to ignore both justice and mercy. But as to this king of Oude, his "right" to his dominion (which is, being interpreted, a right to torture his unhappy subjects) is about the same as the right of a Bengal tiger to his jungle—a right which holds good till some daring hunter can put an end to his career.

When this king ruled in Oude he was such a father to his people, and such was the affection felt for his paternal government, that he had to collect his taxes by the military, and it is said that the poor people in the country built their villages on the borders of the jungle, and kept a watch out for the approach of the soldiers. As soon as they were signalled as being in sight, the wretched peasants gathered up whatever they could carry, and fled into the jungle, preferring to face the wild beasts and the serpents rather than these mercenaries of a tyrant. The troops came, seized what was left and set fire to the village. After they were gone, the miserable people returned and rebuilt their mud hovels, and tried by tilling the soil, to gain a bare subsistence. Such was the patriarchal government of one of the native princes of India.

This king of Oude now finds his chief amusement in collecting a great menagerie. He has a very large number of wild beasts. He has also a "snakery," in which he has collected all the serpents of India. It must be confessed that such a man seems more at home among his tigers and cobras than in oppressing his wretched people. If Americans who visit his palace near Calcutta are moved to sympathy with this deposed king, let them remember what 226 his government was, and they may feel a little pity for his miserable subjects.

To put such a monster off the throne, and thus put an end to his tyrannies, was about as much of a "crime" as it would be to restrain the king of Dahomey or of Ashantee from perpetuating his "Grand Custom." I am out of patience with this mawkish sympathy. There is too much real misery in the world that calls for pity and relief, to have us waste our sensibilities on those who are the scourges of mankind.

But once done, the deed could not be undone. Having seized the bull by the horns, it was necessary to hold him, and this was not an easy matter. It needed a strong hand, which was given it in Sir Henry Lawrence, who had been thirty years in India. Hardly had he been made governor before he felt that there was danger in the air. Neither he nor his brother John, the Governor of the Punjaub, were taken by surprise when the Mutiny broke out. Both expected it, and it did not find them unprepared. Oude was indeed a centre of rebellion. The partisans of the ex-king were of course very active, so that when the Sepoys mutinied at Meerut, near Delhi, the whole kingdom of Oude was in open revolt. Every place was taken except Lucknow, and that was saved only by the wisdom and promptness of its new governor.

His first work was to fortify the Residency (so called from having been occupied by the former English residents), which had about as much of a military character as an old English manor-house. The grounds covered some acres, on which were scattered a few buildings, official residences and guardhouses, with open spaces between, laid out in lawns and gardens. But the quick eye of the governor saw its capability of defence. It was a small plateau, raised a few feet above the plain around, and by connecting the different buildings by walls, which could be mounted with batteries 227 and loopholed for musketry, the whole could be constructed into a kind of fortress. Into this he gathered the European residents with their women and children. And behind such rude defences a few hundred English soldiers, with as many natives who had proved faithful, kept a large army at bay for six months.

There was a fort in Lucknow well supplied with guns and ammunition, but it was defended by only three hundred men, and was a source of weakness rather than strength, since the English force was too small to hold it, and if it should fall into the hands of the Sepoys with all its stores, it would be the arsenal of the rebellion. At Delhi a similar danger had been averted only by a brave officer blowing up the arsenal with his own hand. It was a matter of the utmost moment to destroy the fort and yet to save the soldiers in it. The only hope of keeping up any defence was to unite the two feeble garrisons. But they were more than half a mile apart, and each beleaguered by watchful enemies. Sir Henry Lawrence signalled to the officer in command: "Blow up the fort, and come to the Residency at twelve o'clock to-night. Bring your treasure and guns, and destroy the remainder." This movement could be executed only by the greatest secrecy. But the order was promptly obeyed. At midnight the little band filed silently out of the gates, and stole with muffled steps along a retired path, almost within reach of the guns of the enemies, who discovered the movement only when they were safe in the Residency, and the fuse which had been lighted at the fort reached the magazine, and exploding two hundred and fifty barrels of gunpowder, blew the massive walls into the air.

But the siege was only just begun. Inside the Residency were collected about two thousand two hundred souls, of whom over five hundred were women and children. Only about six hundred were English soldiers, and seven or eight hundred natives who had remained faithful, held to their allegiance 228 by the personal ascendancy of Sir Henry Lawrence.[7] There were also some three hundred civilians, who, though unused to arms, willingly took part in the defence. Thus all together the garrison did not exceed seventeen hundred men, of whom many were disabled by sickness and wounds. The force of the besiegers was twenty to one. There is in the Indian nature a strange mixture of languor and ferocity, and the latter was aroused by the prospect of vengeance on the English, who were penned up where they could not escape, and where their capture was certain; and every Sepoy wished to be in at the death. Under the attraction of such a prospect it is said that the besieging force rose to fifty thousand men. Many of the natives, who had been in the English service, were practised artillerists, and trained their guns on the slender defences with fatal effect. Advancing over the level ground, they drew their lines nearer and nearer, till their riflemen picked off the soldiers serving in the batteries. Three times they made a breach by exploding mines under the walls, and endeavored to carry the place by storm. But 229 then rose high the unconquerable English spirit. They expected to die, but they were determined to sell their lives dearly. When the alarm of these attacks reached the hospital, the sick and wounded crawled out of their beds and threw away their crutches to take their place at the guns; or if they could not stand, lay down flat on their faces and fired through the holes made for musketry.

But brave as were the defenders, the long endurance told upon them. They were worn out with watching, and their ranks grew thinner day by day. Those who were killed were carried off in the arms of their companions, who gathered at midnight for their burial in some lonely and retired spot, and while the chaplain in a low voice read the service, the survivors stood around the grave, thinking how soon their turn would come, the gloom of the night in fit harmony with the dark thoughts that filled their breasts.

But darker than any night was the day when Sir Henry Lawrence fell. He was the beloved, the adored commander. "While he lived," said our informant, "we all felt safe." But exposing himself too much, he was struck by a shell. Those around him lifted him up tenderly and carried him away to the house of the surgeon of the garrison, where two days after he died. When all was over "they did not dare to let the soldiers know that he was dead," lest they should give up the struggle. But he lived long enough to inspire them with his unconquerable spirit.

He died on the 4th of July, and for nearly three months the siege went on without change, the situation becoming every day more desperate. It was the hottest season of the year, and the sun blazed down fiercely into their little camp, aggravating the sickness and suffering, till they longed for death, and were glad when they could find the grave. "When my daughter was struck down by a fragment of a shell that fell on the floor, she did not ask to live. She might have been saved if she had been where she could have 230 had careful nursing. But there was no proper food to nourish the strength of the sick, and so she sunk away, feeling that it was better to die than to live."

But still they would not yield to despair. Havelock had taken Cawnpore, though he came too late to save the English from massacre, and was straining every nerve to collect a force sufficient to relieve Lucknow. As soon as he could muster a thousand men he crossed the Ganges, and began his march. The movement was known to the little garrison, and kept up their hopes. A faithful native, who acted as a spy throughout the siege, went to and fro, disguising himself, and crept through the lines in the night, and got inside the Residency, and told them relief was coming. "He had seen the general, and said he was a little man with white hair," who could be no other than Havelock. Word was sent back that, on approaching the city, rockets should be sent up to notify the garrison. Night after night officers and men gazed toward the west for the expected signal, till their hearts grew sick as the night passed and there was no sign. Deliverance was to come, but not yet.

Havelock found that he had attempted the impossible. His force was but a handful, compared with the hosts of his enemies. Even nature appeared to be against him. It was the hot and rainy season, when it seemed impossible to march over the plains of India. Cannon had to be drawn by bullocks over roads and across fields, where they sank deep in mud. Men had to march and fight now in the broiling sun, and now in floods of rain. "In the full midday heat of the worst season of the year, did our troops start. The sun struck down with frightful force. At every step a man reeled out of the ranks, and threw himself fainting by the side of the road; the calls for water were incessant all along the line." "During the interval between the torrents of rain, the sun's rays were so overpowering that numbers of the men were smitten down and died." But the survivors 231 closed up their ranks and kept their face to the foe. Their spirit was magnificent. Death had lost its terrors for them, and they made light of hardships and dangers. When fainting with heat, if they found a little dirty water by the roadside "it was like nectar." After marching all day in the rain, they would lie down in the soaking mud, and grasp their guns, and wrap their coats around them, and sleep soundly. Says an officer:

"August 5th we marched toward Lucknow nine miles and then encamped on a large plain for the night. You must bear in mind that we had no tents with us, they are not allowed, so every day we were exposed to the burning sun and to the rain and dew by night. No baggage or beds were allowed; but the soldier wrapped his cloak around him, grasped his musket and went to sleep, and soundly we slept too. My Arab horse served me as a pillow, I used to lie down alongside of him, with my head on his neck, and he never moved with me except now and then to lick my hand." But he adds, "We found that it was impossible to proceed to Lucknow, for our force was too small—for though we were a brave little band, and could fight to Lucknow, yet we could not compel them to raise the siege when we got there."

Another enemy also had appeared. Cholera had broken out in the camp; eleven men died in one day. The Rebels too were rising behind them. As soon as Havelock crossed the Ganges they began to gather in his rear. Nana Sahib was mustering a force and threatened Cawnpore. Thus beset behind and before, Havelock turned and marched against the Mahratta chief, and sent him flying towards Delhi. In reading the account of these marches and battles, it is delightful to see the spirit between the commander and his men. After this victory, as he rode along the lines, they cheered him vehemently. He returned their salute, but said, "Don't cheer me, my lads, you did it all yourselves." Such men, fighting together, were invincible.

In September Havelock had collected 2,700 men, and again set out for Lucknow. Three days they marched "under 232 a deluge of rain." But their eyes were "steadfastly set" towards the spot where their countrymen were in peril, and they cared not for hardships and dangers. The garrison was apprised of their coming, and waited with feverish anxiety. In the relieving force was a regiment of Highlanders, and if no crazy woman could put her ears to the ground (according to the romantic story so often told) and hear the pibroch, and shout "The Campbells are coming," they knew that those brave Scots never turned back. As they drew near the city over the Cawnpore road, they found that it was mined to blow them up. Instantly they wheeled off, and marched round the city, and came up on the other side. Capturing the Alumbagh, one of the royal residences, which, surrounded by a wall, was easily converted into a temporary fortress, Havelock left here his heavy baggage and stores of ammunition, with an immense array of elephants and camels and horses; and all his sick and wounded, and the whole train of camp-followers; and three hundred men, with four guns to defend it. Thus "stripped for the fight," he began his attack on the city. It was two miles to the Residency, and every step the English had to fight their way through the streets. The battle began in the morning, and lasted all day. It was a desperate attempt to force their way through a great city, where every man was an enemy, and they were fired at from almost every house. "Our advance was through streets of flat-roofed and loop-holed houses, each forming a separate fortress." Our informant told us of the frenzy in the Residency when they heard the sound of the guns. "The Campbells were coming" indeed! Sometimes the firing lulled, and it seemed as if they were driven back. Then it rose again, and came nearer and nearer. How the tide of battle ebbed and flowed, is well told in the narratives of those who were actors in the scenes:

"Throughout the night of the 24th great agitation and alarm had prevailed in the city; and, as morning advanced, increased and rapid 233 movements of men and horses, gave evidence of the excited state of the rebel force. At noon, increasing noise proclaimed that street fighting was growing more fierce in the distance; but from the Residency nought but the smoke from the fire of the combatants could be discerned. As the afternoon advanced, the sounds came nearer and nearer, and then we heard the sharp crack of rifles mingled with the flash of musketry; the well-known uniforms of British soldiers were next discerned."

A lady who was in the Residency, and has written a Diary of the Siege, thus describes the coming in of the English troops:

"Never shall I forget the moment to the latest day I live. We had no idea they were so near, and were breathing the air in the portico as usual at that hour, speculating when they might be in; when suddenly just at dusk, we heard a very sharp fire of musketry close by, and then a tremendous cheering. An instant after, the sound of bagpipes—then soldiers running up the road—our compound and veranda filled with our deliverers, and all of us shaking hands frantically, and exchanging fervent 'God bless you's' with the gallant men and officers of the 78th Highlanders. Sir James Outram and staff were the next to come in, and the state of joyful confusion and excitement was beyond all description. The big, rough-bearded soldiers were seizing the little children out of our arms, kissing them, with tears rolling down their cheeks, and thanking God they had come in time to save them from the fate of those at Cawnpore. We were all rushing about to give the poor fellows drinks of water, for they were perfectly exhausted; and tea was made down in the Tye-khana, of which a large party of tired, thirsty officers partook, without milk or sugar. We had nothing to give them to eat. Every one's tongue seemed going at once with so much to ask and to tell; and the faces of utter strangers beamed upon each other like those of dearest friends and brothers."

It was indeed a great deliverance, but the danger was not over. Of all that were in the Residency when the siege began, three months before, more than half were gone. Out of twenty-two hundred but nine hundred were left, and of these less than one-half were fighting men. Even with the reinforcement of Havelock the garrison was still far too small to hold 234 such a position in the midst of a city of such a population. The siege went on for two months longer. The final relief did not come till Sir Colin Campbell, arriving with a larger force, again fought his way through the city. The atrocities of the Sepoys had produced such a feeling that he could hardly restrain his soldiers. Remembering the murders and massacres of their countrymen and countrywomen, they fought with a savage fury. In one walled enclosure, which they carried by storm, were two thousand Sepoys, and they killed every man!

Even then the work was not completed. Scarcely had Sir Colin Campbell entered the Residency before he decided upon its evacuation. Again the movement was executed at midnight, in silence and in darkness. While the watch-fires were kept burning to deceive the enemy, the men filed out of the gates, with the women and children in the centre of the column, and moving softly and quickly through a narrow lane, in the morning they were several miles from the city, in a strong position, which made them safe from attack.

The joy of this hour of deliverance was saddened by the death of Havelock. He had passed through all the dangers of battle and siege, only to die at last of disease, brought on by the hardships and exposures of the last few months. But his work was done. He had nothing to do but to die. To his friend, Sir James Outram, who came to see him, he stretched out his hand and said: "For more than forty years I have so ruled my life, that when death came, I might face it without fear."

The garrison was saved, but the city was still in the hands of the Rebels, who were as defiant as ever. It was some months before Sir Colin Campbell gathered forces sufficient for the final and crushing blow. Indeed it was not till winter that he had collected a really formidable army. Then he moved on the city in force and carried it by storm. Two days of terrible fighting gave him the mastery of Lucknow, and the British flag was once more raised over the capital of Oude, where it has floated in triumph unto this day. 235

But the chief interest gathers about the earlier defence. The siege of Lucknow is one of the most thrilling events in modern history, and may well be remembered with pride by all who took part in it. A few weeks before we were here the Prince of Wales had made his visit to Lucknow, and requested that the survivors of the siege might be presented to him. Mr. Mudge was present at the interview, and told me he had never witnessed a more affecting scene than when these brave old soldiers, the wrecks of the war, some of them bearing the marks of their wounds, came up to the Prince, and received his warmest thanks for their courage and fidelity.

These heroic memories were fresh in mind as we took our morning walk in Lucknow, along the very street by which Havelock had fought his way through the city. The Residency is now a ruin, its walls shattered by shot and shell. But the ruins are overrun with vines and creeping plants, and are beautiful even in their decay. With sad interest we visited the spot where Sir Henry Lawrence was struck by the fatal shell, and the cemetery in which he is buried. He was a Christian soldier and before his death received the communion. He asked that no eulogy might be written on his tomb, but only these words: "Here lies Henry Lawrence, who tried to do his duty. May God have mercy on his soul." This dying utterance is inscribed on the plain slab of marble that covers his dust. It is enough. No epitaph could say more. As I stood there and read these simple words and thought of the noble dead, my eyes were full of tears. With such a consciousness of duty done, who could fear to die? How well do these words express that which should be the highest end of human ambition. Happy will it be for any man of whom, when he has passed from the world, it can with truth be written above his grave, "Here lies one who tried to do his duty!"




In reviewing the terrible scenes of the Mutiny, one cannot help asking whether such scenes are likely to occur again; whether there will ever be another Rebellion; and if so, what may be the chance of its success? Will the people of India wish to rise? How are they affected towards the English government? Are they loyal? We can only answer these questions by asking another: Who are meant by the people of India? The population is divided into different classes, as into different castes. The great mass of the people are passive. Accustomed to being handed over from one native ruler to another, they care not who holds the power. He is the best ruler who oppresses them the least. But among the high caste Brahmins, and especially those who have been educated (among whom alone there is anything like political life in India), there is a deep-seated disaffection towards the English rule. This is a natural result of an education which enlarges their ideas and raises their ambition. Some of the Bengalees, for example, are highly educated men, and it is but natural that, as they increase in knowledge, they should think that they are quite competent to govern themselves. Hence their dislike to the foreign power that is imposed upon them. Not that they have any personal wrongs to avenge. It may be that they are attached to English men, while they do not like the English rule. Every man whose mind is elevated by knowledge and reflection, wishes to be his own master; and if ruled at 237 all, he likes to be ruled by those of his own blood and race and language. This class of men, whether Hindoos or Mohammedans, however courteous they may be to the English in their personal or business relations, are not thereby converted to loyalty, any more than they are converted to Christianity.

But however strong their dislike, it is not very probable that it should take shape in organized rebellion, and still less likely that any such movement should succeed. The English are now guarded against it as never before. In the Mutiny they were taken at every possible disadvantage. The country was almost stripped of English troops. Only 20,000 men were left, and these scattered far apart, and surrounded by three times their number of Sepoys in open rebellion. Thus even the military organization was in the hands of the enemy. If with all these things against them, English skill and courage and discipline triumphed at last, can it ever be put to such a test again?

When the Mutiny was over, and the English had time to reflect on the danger they had escaped, they set themselves to repair their defences, so that they should never more be in such peril. The first thing was to reorganize the army, to weed out the elements of disaffection and rebellion, and to see that the power was henceforth in safe hands. The English troops were tripled in force, till now, instead of twenty, they number sixty thousand men. The native regiments were carefully chosen from those only who had proved faithful, such as the Goorkas, who fought so bravely at Delhi, and other hill tribes of the Himalayas; and the Punjaubees, who are splendid horsemen, and make the finest cavalry. But not even these, brave and loyal as they had been, were mustered into any regiment except cavalry and infantry. Not a single native soldier was left in the artillery. In the Mutiny, if the Sepoys had not been practised gunners, they would not have been so formidable at the siege of Lucknow 238 and elsewhere. Now they are stripped of this powerful arm, and in any future rising they could do nothing against fortified places, nor against an army in the field, equipped with modern artillery. In reserving this arm of the service to themselves, the English have kept the decisive weapon in their own hands.

Then it is hardly too much to say that by the present complete system of railroads, the English force is quadrupled, as this gives them the means of concentrating rapidly at any exposed point.

To these elements of military strength must be added the greater organizing power of Englishmen. The natives make good soldiers. They are brave, and freely expose themselves in battle. In the Sikh war the Punjaubees fought desperately. So did the Sepoys in the Mutiny. But the moment the plan of attack was disarranged, they were "all at sea." Their leaders had no "head" for quick combinations in presence of an enemy. As it has been, so it will be. In any future contests it will be not only the English sword, English guns, and English discipline, but more than all, the English brains, that will get them the victory.

Such is the position of England in India. She holds a citadel girt round with defences on every side, with strong walls without, and brave hearts within. I have been round about her towers, and marked well her bulwarks, and I see not why, so guarded and defended, she may not hold her Indian Empire for generations to come.

But there is a question back of all this. Might does not make right. A government may be established in power that is not established in justice. It may be that the English are to remain masters of India, yet without any right to that splendid dominion. As we read the thrilling stories of the Mutiny, it is almost with a guilty feeling (as if it betrayed a want of sympathy with all that heroism), that we admit any inquiry as to the cause of that fearful tragedy. But how 239 came all this blood to be shed? Has not England something to answer for? If she has suffered terribly, did she not pay the penalty of her own grasping ambition? Nations, like individuals, often bring curses on themselves, the retribution of their oppressions and their crimes. The fact that men fight bravely, is no proof that they fight in a just cause. Nay, the very admiration that we feel for their courage in danger and in death, but increases our horror at the "political necessity" which requires them to be sacrificed. If England by her own wicked policy provoked the Mutiny, is she not guilty of the blood of her children? Thomas Jefferson, though a slaveholder himself, used to say that in a war of races every attribute of Almighty God would take part with the slave against his master; and Englishmen may well ask whether in the conflict which has come once, and may come again, they can be quite sure that Infinite Justice will always be on their side.

In these sentences I have put the questions which occur to an American travelling in India. Wherever he goes, he sees the English flag flying on every fortress—the sign that India is a conquered country. The people who inhabit the country are not those who govern it. With his Republican ideas of the right of every nation to govern itself, he cannot help asking: What business have the English in India? What right have a handful of Englishmen, so far from their native island, in another hemisphere, to claim dominion over two hundred millions of men?

As an American, I have not the bias of national feeling to lead me to defend and justify the English rule in India; though I confess that when, far off here in Asia, among these dusky natives, I see a white face, and hear my own mother tongue, I feel that "blood is thicker than water," and am ready to take part with my kindred against all comers. Even Americans cannot but feel a pride in seeing men of their own race masters of such a kingdom in the East. But this pride 240 of empire will not extinguish in any fair mind the sense of justice and humanity.

"Have the English any right in India?" If it be "a question of titles," we may find it difficult to prove our own right in America, from which we have crowded out the original inhabitants. None of us can claim a title from the father of the human race. All new settlers in a country are "invaders." But public interest and the common law of the world demand that power, once established, should be recognized.

According to the American principle, that "all just government derives its authority from the consent of the governed," there never was a just government in India, for the consent of the governed was never obtained. The people of India were never asked to give their "consent" to the government established over them. They were ruled by native princes, who were as absolute, and in general as cruel tyrants, as ever crushed a wretched population.

No doubt in planting themselves in India, the English have often used the rights of conquerors. No one has denounced their usurpations and oppressions more than their own historians, such as Mill and Macaulay. The latter, in his eloquent reviews of the lives of Clive and Warren Hastings, has spoken with just severity of the crimes of those extraordinary but unscrupulous men. For such acts no justification can be pleaded whatever. But as between Clive and Surajah Dowlah, the rule of the former was infinitely better. It would be carrying the doctrine of self-government to an absurd extent, to imagine that the monster who shut up English prisoners in the Black Hole had any right which was to be held sacred. The question of right, therefore, is not between the English and the people of India, but between the English and the native princes. Indeed England comes in to protect the people against the princes, when it gives them one strong master in place of a hundred petty tyrants. The King of Oude collecting his taxes by soldiers, is but an instance of that oppression 241 and cruelty which extended all over India, but which is now brought to an end.

And how has England used her power? At first, we must confess, with but little of the feeling of responsibility which should accompany the possession of power. Nearly a hundred years ago, Burke (who was master of all facts relating to the history of India, and to its political condition, more than any other man of his time) bitterly arraigned the English government for its cruel neglect of that great dependency. He denounced his countrymen, the agents of the East India Company, as a horde of plunderers, worse than the soldiers of Tamerlane, and held up their greedy and rapacious administration to the scorn of mankind, showing that they had left no beneficent monuments of their power to compare with those of the splendid reigns of the old Moguls. In a speech in Parliament in 1783, he said:

"England has erected no churches, no palaces, no hospitals, no schools; England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs. Every other conqueror of every other description has left some monument either of State or beneficence behind him. Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by anything better than the orang-outang or the tiger."

This is a fearful accusation. What answer can be made to it? Has there been any change for the better since the great impeacher of Warren Hastings went to his grave? How has England governed India since that day? She has not undertaken to govern it like a Model Republic. If she had, her rule would soon have come to an end. She has not given the Hindoos universal suffrage, or representation in Parliament. But she has given them something better—Peace and Order and Law, a trinity of blessings that they never had before. When the native princes ruled in India, they were constantly at war among themselves, and 242 thus overrunning and harassing the country. Now the English government rules everywhere, and Peace reigns from Cape Comorin to the Himalayas.

Strange to say, this quietness does not suit some of the natives, who have a restless longing for the wild lawlessness of former times. A missionary was one day explaining to a crowd the doctrine of original sin, when he was roughly interrupted by one who said, "I know what is original sin: it is the English rule in India." "You ought not to say that," was the reply, "for if it were not for the English the people of the next village would make a raid on your village, and carry off five thousand sheep." But the other was not to be put down so, and answered promptly, "I should like that, for then we would make a raid on them and carry off ten thousand!" This was a blunt way of putting it, but it expresses the feeling of many who would prefer that kind of wild justice which prevails among the Tartar hordes of Central Asia to a state of profound tranquility. They would rather have Asiatic barbarism than European civilization.

With peace between States, England has established order in every community. It has given protection to life and property—a sense of security which is the first condition of the existence of human society. It has abolished heathen customs which were inhuman and cruel. It has extirpated thuggism, and put an end to infanticide and the burning of widows. This was a work of immense difficulty, because these customs, horrid as they were, were supported by religious fanaticism. Mothers cast their children into the Ganges as an offering to the gods; and widows counted it a happy escape from the sufferings of life to mount the funeral pile. Even to this day there are some who think it hard that they cannot thus sacrifice themselves.

So wedded are the people to their customs, that they are very jealous of the interference of the government, when it prohibits any of their practices on the ground of humanity. 243 Dr. Newton, of Lahore, the venerable missionary, told me that he knew a few years ago a fakir, a priest of a temple, who had grown to be very friendly with him. One day the poor man came, with his heart full of trouble, to tell his griefs. He had a complaint against the government. He said that Sir John Lawrence, then Governor of the Punjaub, was very arbitrary. And why? Because he wanted to bury himself alive, and the Governor wouldn't let him! He had got to be a very old man (almost a hundred), and of course must soon leave this world. He had had a tomb prepared in the grounds of the temple (he took Dr. Newton to see what a nice place it was), and there he wished to lie down and breathe his last. With the Hindoos it is an act of religious merit to bury one's self alive, and on this the old man had set his heart. If he could do this, he would go straight to Paradise, but the hard English Governor, insensible to such considerations, would not permit it. Was it not too bad that he could not be allowed to go to heaven in his own way?

Breaking up these old barbarities—suicide, infanticide, and the burning of widows—the government has steadily aimed to introduce a better system for the administration of justice, in which, with due regard to Hindoo customs and prejudices, shall be incorporated, as far as possible, the principles of English law. For twenty years the ablest men that could be found in India or in England, have been engaged in perfecting an elaborate Indian Code, in which there is one law for prince and pariah. What must be the effect on the Hindoo mind of such a system, founded in justice, and enforced by a power which they cannot resist? Such laws administered by English magistrates, will educate the Hindoos to the idea of justice, which, outside of English colonies, can hardly be said to exist in Asia.

The English are the Romans of the modern world. Wherever the Roman legions marched, they ruled with a strong 244 hand, but they established law and order, the first conditions of human society. So with the English in all their Asiatic dependencies. Wherever they come, they put an end to anarchy, and give to all men that sense of protection and security, that feeling of personal safety—safety both to life and property—without which there is no motive to human effort, and no possibility of human progress.

The English are like the Romans in another feature of their administration, in the building of roads. The Romans were the great road-builders of antiquity. Highways which began at Rome, and thus radiated from a common centre, led to the most distant provinces. Not only in Italy, but in Spain and Gaul and Germany, did the ancient masters of the world leave these enduring monuments of their power. Following this example, England, before the days of railroads, built a broad macadamized road from Calcutta to Peshawur, over 1,500 miles. This may have been for a military purpose; but no matter, it serves the ends of peace more than of war. It becomes a great avenue of commerce; it opens communication between distant parts of India, and brings together men of different races, speaking different languages; and thus, by promoting peaceful and friendly intercourse, it becomes a highway of civilization.

Nor is this the only great road in this country. Everywhere I have found the public highways in excellent condition. Indeed I have not found a bad road in India—not one which gave me such a "shaking up" as I have sometimes had when riding over the "corduroys" through the Western forests of America. Around the large towns the roads are especially fine—broad and well paved, and often planted with trees. The cities are embellished with parks, like cities in England, with botanical and zoölogical gardens. The streets are kept clean, and strict sanitary regulations are enforced—a matter of the utmost moment in this hot climate, and in a dense population, where a sudden outbreak of cholera would 245 sweep off thousands in a few days or hours. The streets are well lighted and well policed, so that one may go about at any hour of day or night with as much safety as in London or New York. If these are the effects of foreign rule, even the most determined grumbler must confess that it has proved a material and substantial benefit to the people of India.

Less than twenty years ago the internal improvements of India received a sudden and enormous development, when to the building of roads succeeded that of railroads. Lord Dalhousie, when Governor-General, had projected a great railroad system, but it was not till after the Mutiny, and perhaps in consequence of the lessons learned by that terrible experience, that the work was undertaken on a large scale. The government guaranteed five per cent. interest for a term of years, and the capital was supplied from England. Labor was abundant and cheap, and the works were pushed on with unrelaxing energy, till India was belted from Bombay to Calcutta, and trunk lines were running up and down the country, with branches to every large city. Thus, to English foresight and sagacity, to English wealth and engineering skill, India owes that vast system of railroads which now spreads over the whole peninsula.

In no part of the world are railroads more used than in India. Of course the first-class carriages are occupied chiefly by English travellers, or natives of high rank; and the second-class by those less wealthy. But there are trains for the people, run at very low fares. There are huge cars, built with two stories, and carrying a hundred passengers each, and these two-deckers are often very closely packed. The Hindoos have even learned to make pilgrimages by steam, and find it much cheaper, as well as easier, than to go afoot. When one considers the long journeys they have been accustomed to undertake under the burning sun of India, the amount of suffering relieved by a mode of locomotion so cool and swift is beyond computation. 246

Will anybody tell me that the people of India, if left alone, would have built their own railways? Perhaps in the course of ages, but not in our day. The Asiatic nature is torpid and slow to move, and cannot rouse itself to great exertion. In the whole Empire of China there is not a railroad, except at Shanghai, where a few months ago was opened a little "one-horse concern," a dozen miles long, built by the foreigners for the convenience of that English settlement. This may show how rapid would have been the progress of railroads in India, if left wholly to native "enterprise." It would have taken hundreds of years to accomplish what the English have wrought in one generation.

Nor does English engineering skill expend itself on railroads alone. It has dug canals that are like rivers in their length. The Ganges Canal in Upper India is a work equal to our Erie Canal. Other canals have been opened, both for commerce and for irrigation. The latter is a matter vital to India. The food of the Hindoos is rice, and rice cannot be cultivated except in fields well watered. A drought in the rice fields means a famine in the province. Such a calamity is now averted in many places by this artificial irrigation. The overflow from these streams, which are truly "fountains in the desert," has kept whole districts from being burnt up, by which in former years millions perished by famine.

While thus caring for the material comfort and safety of the people of India, England has also shown regard to their enlightenment in providing a magnificent system of National Education. Every town in India has its government school, while many a large city has its college or its university. Indeed, so far has this matter of education been carried, that I heard a fear expressed that it was being overdone—at least the higher education—because the young men so educated were unfitted for anything else than the employ of the government. All minor places in India are filled by natives, and well filled too. But there are not enough for all. And hence 247 many, finding no profession to enter, and educated above the ordinary occupations of natives, are left stranded on the shore.

These great changes in India, these schools and colleges, the better administration of the laws, and these vast internal improvements, have been almost wholly the work of the generation now living. In the first century of its dominion the English rule perhaps deserved the bitter censure of Burke, but

"If 'twere so, it were a grievous fault,

And grievously hath Cæsar answered it."

England has paid for the misgovernment of India in the blood of her children, and within the last few years she has striven nobly to repair the errors of former times. Thus one generation makes atonement for the wrongs of another. She has learned that justice is the highest wisdom, and the truest political economy. The change is due in part to the constant pressure of the Christian sentiment of England upon its government, which has compelled justice to India, and wrought those vast changes which we see with wonder and admiration.

Thus stretching out her mighty arm over India, England rules the land from sea to sea. I say not that she rules it in absolute righteousness—that her government is one of ideal perfection, but it is immeasurably better than that of the old native tyrants which it displaced. It at least respects the forms of law, and while it establishes peace, it endeavors also to maintain justice. The railroads that pierce the vast interior quicken the internal commerce of the country, while the waters that are caused to flow over the rice-fields of Bengal abate the horrors of pestilence and famine. Thus England gives to her Asiatic empire the substantial benefits of modern civilization; while in her schools and colleges she brings the subtle Hindoo mind into contact with the science and learning of the West. At so many points does this foreign rule 248 touch the very life of India, and infuse the best blood of Europe into her languid veins.

With such results of English rule, who would not wish that it might continue? It is not that we love the Hindoo less, but the cause of humanity more. The question of English rule in India is a question of civilization against barbarism. These are the two forces now in conflict for the mastery of Asia. India is the place where the two seas meet. Shall she be left to herself, shut up between her seas and her mountains? That would be an unspeakable calamity, not only to her present inhabitants, but to unborn millions. I believe in modern civilization, as I believe in Christianity. These are the great forces which are to conquer the world. In conquering Asia, they will redeem it and raise it to a new life. The only hope of Asia is from Europe:

"Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay;"

and the only hope of India is from England. So whatever contests may yet arise for the control of this vast peninsula, with its two hundred millions of people, our sympathies must always be against Asiatic barbarism, and on the side of European civilization.




"Is it not all a farce?" said a Major in the Bengal Staff Corps, as we came down from Upper India. We were talking of Missions. He did not speak of them with hatred, but only with contempt. The missionaries "meant well," but they were engaged in an enterprise which was so utterly hopeless, that no man in his senses could regard it as other than supreme and almost incredible folly. In this he spoke the opinion of half the military men of India. They have no personal dislike to missionaries—indeed many an officer in an out-of-the-way district, who has a missionary family for almost his only neighbors, will acknowledge that they are "a great addition to the English society." But as for their doing any good, as an officer once said to me: "They might as well go and stand on the shore of the sea and preach to the fishes, as to think to convert the Hindoos!" Their success, of which so much is said in England and America, is "infinitesimally small." Some even go so far as to say that the missionaries do great mischief; that they stir up bad blood in the native population, and perpetuate an animosity of races. Far better would it be to leave the "mild Hindoo" to his gods; to let him worship his sacred cows, and monkeys and serpents, and his hideous idols, so long as he is a quiet and inoffensive subject of the government.

If one were preaching a sermon to a Christian congregation, he might disdain a reply to objections which seem to 250 come out of the mouths of unbelievers; it would be enough to repeat the words of Him who said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." But I am not preaching, but conversing with an intelligent gentleman, who has lived long in India, and might well assume that he knows far more about the actual situation than I do. Such men are not to be put down. They represent a large part of the Anglo-Indian population. We may therefore as well recognize the fact that Modern Missions, like any other enterprise which is proposed in the interest of civilization, are now on trial before the world. We may look upon them as too sacred for criticism; but in this irreverent age nothing is too sacred; everything that is holy has to be judged by reason, and by practical results, and by these to be justified or to be condemned. I would not therefore claim anything on the ground of authority, but speak of missions as I would of national education, or even of the railroad system of India.

The question here raised I think deserves a larger and more candid treatment than it commonly receives either from the advocates or the opponents of missions. It is not to be settled merely by pious feeling, by unreasoning sentiment on the one hand, nor by sneers on the other. To convert a whole country from one religion to another, is an undertaking so vast that it is not to be lightly entered upon. The very attempt assumes a superior wisdom on the part of those who make it, which is itself almost an offence. If it be not "a grand impertinence," an intrusion into matters with which no stranger has a right to intermeddle, it is at least taking a great liberty to thrust upon a man our opinion in censure of his own. We may think him very ignorant, and in need of being enlightened. But he may have a poor opinion of our ability to enlighten him. We think him a fool, and he returns the compliment. At any rate, right or wrong, he is entitled to the freedom of his opinion as much as we are to ours. If a stranger were to 251 come to us day by day, to argue with us, and to force his opinions upon us, either in politics or religion, we might listen civilly and patiently at first, but we should end by turning him out of doors. What right have we to pronounce on his opinions and conduct any more than he upon ours?

In the domain of religion, especially, a man's opinions are sacred. They are between himself and God. There is no greater offence against courtesy, against that mutual concession of perfect freedom, which is the first law of all human intercourse, than to interfere wantonly with the opinions—nay, if you please, with the false opinions, with the errors and prejudices—of mankind. Nothing but the most imperative call of humanity—a plea of "necessity or mercy"—can justify a crusade against the ancestral faith of a whole people.

I state the case as strongly as I can, that we may look upon it as an English officer, or even an intelligent Hindoo, looks upon it, and I admit frankly that we have no more right to force our religion upon the people of India, than to force upon them a republican form of government, unless we can give a reason for it, which shall be recognized at the bar of the intelligent judgment of mankind.

Is there then any good reason—any raison d'être—for the establishment of missions in India? If there be not some very solid and substantial ground for their existence, they are not to be justified merely because their motive is good. Is there then any reason whatever which can justify any man, or body of men, in invading this country with a new religion, and attacking the ancient faith of the people?

All students of history will acknowledge that there are certain great revolutions in the opinions of mankind, which are epochs in history, and turning points in the life of nations. India has had many such revolutions, dating far back before the Christian era. Centuries before Christ was born, Buddha preached his new faith on the banks of the 252 Ganges. For a time it conquered the country, driving out the old Brahminism, which however came back and conquered in its turn, till Buddhism, retiring slowly from the plains of India, planted its pagodas on the shores of Burmah and among the mountains of Ceylon.

Thus India is a land of missions, and has been from the very beginnings of history. It was traversed by missionaries of its ancient faith ages before Tamerlane descended the passes of the Himalayas with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other; or Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the Indies, laid his bones in the Cathedral of Goa. If then Buddhists and Brahmins, and Moslems and Romanists, have so long disputed the land, there is certainly no reason why we should condemn at the very outset the entrance of Protestant Christianity.

Beside this great fact in the history of India place another: that there is no country in the world where religion is such a power, such an element in the life of the people. The Hindoos are not only religious, they are intensely so. They have not indeed the fierce fanaticism of the Moslems, for their creed tolerates all religions, but what they believe they believe strongly. They have a subtle philosophy which pervades all their thinking, which digs the very channels in which their thoughts run, and cannot overflow; and this philosophy, which is imbedded in their religious creed, fixes their castes and customs, as rigidly as it does their forms of worship. Religion is therefore the chief element in the national life. It has more to do in moulding the ideas and habits, the manners and customs, of the people, than laws or government, or any other human institution. Thus India furnishes the most imposing illustration on earth of the power of Religion to shape the destiny of a country or a race.

Whether there be anything to justify a friendly invasion of India, and the attempt to convert its people to a better religion, 253 may appear if we ask, What is Hindooism? Is it a good or bad faith? Does it make men better or worse—happy or unhappy? Does it promote the welfare of human beings, or is it a system which is false in belief and deadly in its effects, and against which we have a right to wage a holy war?

Hindooism has a thousand shapes, spreading out its arms like a mighty banyan tree, but its root is one—Pantheism. When an old fakir at the Méla at Allahabad said to me, "You are God and I am God!" he did not utter a wild rhapsody, but expressed the essence of Hindoo philosophy, according to which all beings that exist are but One Being; all thoughts are but the pulse-beats of One Infinite Mind; all acts are but the manifestation of One Universal Life.

Some may think this theory a mere abstraction, which has no practical bearing. But carried out to its logical consequences, it overthrows all morality. If all acts of men are God's acts, then they are all equally good or bad; or rather, they are neither good nor bad. Thus moral distinctions are destroyed, and vice and virtue are together banished from the world. Hence Hindooism as a religion has nothing whatever to do with morality or virtue, but is only a means of propitiating angry deities. It is a religion of terror and fear. It is also unspeakably vile. It is the worship of obscene gods by obscene rites. Its very gods and goddesses commit adultery and incest. Thus vice is deified. Such a mythology pollutes the imaginations of the people, whereby their very mind and conscience are defiled. Not only the heart, but even the intellect is depraved by the loathsome objects set up in their temples. The most common object of worship in India is an obscene image. Indeed, so well understood is this, that when a law was passed by the Government against the exhibition of obscene images, an express exception was made in favor of those exposed in temples, and which were objects of religious worship. Thus Hindooism 254 has the privilege of indecency, and is allowed to break over all restraints. It is the licensed harlot, that is permitted, in deference to its religious pretensions, to disregard the common decencies of mankind. The effect of this on public morals can be imagined. The stream cannot rise higher than its source. How can a people be pure, when their very religion is a fountain of pollution? But this is a subject on which we cannot enlarge. It is an abyss into which no one would wish to look. It is sufficient to indicate what we cannot for very loathing undertake to describe.

There is another element in the Hindoo religion, which cannot be ignored, and which gives it a tremendous power for good or evil. It is Caste. Every Hindoo child is born in a certain caste, out of which he cannot escape. When I landed at Bombay I observed that every native had upon his forehead a mark freshly made, as if with a stroke of the finger, which indicated the god he worshipped or the caste to which he belonged. Of these there are four principal ones—the Priest, or Brahmin caste, which issued out of the mouth of Brahm; the Warrior caste, which sprung from his arms and breast; the Merchant caste, from his thighs; and the Shoodras, or Servile caste, which crawled out from between his feet; beside the Pariahs, who are below all caste. These divisions are absolute and unchangeable. To say that they are maintained by the force of ancient custom is not enough: they are fixed as by a law of nature. The strata of society are as immovable as the strata of the rock-ribbed hills. No man can stir out of his place. If he is up he stays up by no virtue of his own; and if he is down, he stays down, beyond any power of man to deliver him. No gift of genius, or height of virtue, can ever raise up one of a low caste into a higher, for caste is a matter of birth. Upon these sub-strata this fixity of caste rests with crushing weight. It holds them down as with the force of gravitation, as if the Himalayas were rolled upon them to press them to the earth. 255

Against this oppression there is no power of resistance, no lifting up from beneath to throw it off. One would suppose that the people themselves would revolt at this servitude, that every manly instinct would rise up in rebellion against such a degradation. But so ingrained is it in the very life of the people, that they cannot cast it out any more than they can cast out a poison in their blood. Indeed they seem to glory in it. The lower castes crouch and bow down that others may pass over them. A Brahmin, who had become a Christian, told me that the people had often asked him to wash his feet in the water of the street, that they might drink it!

Caste is a cold and cruel thing, which hardens the heart against natural compassion. I know it is said that high caste is only an aristocracy of birth, and that, as such, it fosters a certain nobility of feeling, and also a mutual friendliness between those who belong to the same order. A caste is only a larger family, and in it there is the same feeling, a mixture of pride and affection, which binds the family together. Perhaps it may nurture to some extent a kind of clannishness, but it does this at the sacrifice of the broader and nobler sentiment of humanity. It hardens the heart into coldness and cruelty against all without one sacred pale. The Brahmin feels nothing for the sufferings of the Pariah, who is of another order of being as truly as if he were one of the lower animals. Thus the feeling of caste extinguishes the sentiment of human brotherhood.

Taking all these elements together, Hindooism must rank as the most despotic, the most cruel, and the vilest of all that is called religion among men. There is no other that so completely upturns moral distinctions, and makes evil good and good evil. Other religions, even though false, have some sentiment that ennobles them, but Hindooism, the product of a land fertile in strange births, is the lowest and basest, the most truly earth-born, of all the religions that curse mankind. 256

And what burdens does it lay upon a poor, patient, and suffering people, in prayers, penances, and pilgrimages! The faith of Hindooism is not a mild and harmless form of human credulity. It exacts a terrible service, that must be paid with sweat and blood. Millions of Hindoos go every year on pilgrimages. The traveller sees them thronging the roads, dragging their weary feet over the hot plains, many literally crawling over the burning earth, to appease the wrath of angry gods! A religion which exacts such service is not a mere creature of the imagination—it is a tremendous reality, which makes its presence felt at every moment. It is therefore not a matter of practical indifference. It is not a mere exhibition of human folly, which, however absurd, does no harm to anybody. It is a despotism which grinds the people to powder.

Seeing this, how they suffer under a power from which they cannot escape, can there be a greater object of philanthropy in all the world than to emancipate them from the bondage of such ignorance and superstition? Scientific men, the apostles of "modern thought," consider it not only a legitimate object, but the high "mission" of science, by unfolding the laws of nature, to disabuse our minds of idle and superstitious fears; to break up that vague terror of unseen forces, which is the chief element of superstition. If they may fight this battle in England, may we not fight the battle of truth with error and ignorance in Hindostan? Englishmen think it a noble thing for brave and adventurous spirits to form expeditions to penetrate the interior of Africa to break up the slave trade. But here is a slavery the most terrible which ever crushed the life out of human beings. Brahminism, which is fastened upon the people of India, embraces them like an anaconda, clasping and crushing them in its mighty folds. It is a devouring monster, which takes out of the very body of every Hindoo, poor and naked and wretched as he may be, its pound of quivering flesh. 257 Can these things be, and we look on unmoved? Can we see a whole people bound, like Laocoön and his sons, in the grasp of the serpent, writhing and struggling in vain, and not come to their rescue?

Such is Hindooism, and such is the condition to which it has reduced the people of India. Do we need any other argument for Christian missions? Does not this simple statement furnish a perfect defence, and even an imperative demand for their establishment? Christianity is the only hope of India. In saying this I do not intend any disrespect to the people of this country, to whom I feel a strong attraction. We are not apt to hear from our missionary friends much about the virtues of the heathen; but virtues they have, which it were wrong to ignore. The Hindoos, like other Asiatics, are a very domestic people, and have strong domestic attachments. They love their homes, humble though they be, and their children. And while they have not the active energy of Western races, yet in the passive virtues—meekness, patience under injury, submission to wrong—they furnish an example to Christian nations. That submissiveness, which travellers notice, and which moves some to scorn, moves me rather to pity, and I find in this patient, long-suffering race much to honor and to love. Nor are they unintelligent. They have very subtle minds. Thus they have many of the qualities of a great people. But their religion is their destruction. It makes them no better, it makes them worse. It does not lift them up, it drags them down. It is the one terrible and overwhelming curse, that must be removed before there is any hope for the people of India.

Is there not here a legitimate ground for an attempt on the part of the civilized and Christian world to introduce a better faith into that mighty country which holds two hundred millions of the human race? This is not intrusion, it is simple humanity. In seeking to introduce Christianity into India, we invade no right of any native of that country, Mohammedan 258 or Hindoo; we would not wantonly wound their feelings, nor even shock their prejudices, in attacking their hereditary faith. But we claim that here is a case where we cannot keep silent. If we are told that we "interfere with the people," we answer, that we interfere as the Good Samaritan interfered with the man who fell among thieves, and was left by the roadside to die; as the physician in the hospital interferes with those dying of the cholera; as one who sees a brother at his side struck by a deadly serpent applies his mouth to the wound, to suck the poison from his blood! If that be interference, it is interference where it would be cruelty to stand aloof, for he would be less than man who could be unmoved in presence of misery so vast, which it was in any degree in his power to relieve.

Thus India itself is the sufficient argument for missions in India. Let any one visit this country, and study its religion, and see how it enters into the very life of the people; how all social intercourse is regulated by caste; how one feels at every instant the pressure of an ancient and unchangeable religion, and ask how its iron rule is ever to be broken? Who shall deliver them from the body of this death? There is in Hindooism no power of self-cure. For ages it has remained the same, and will remain for ages still. Help, if it come at all, must come from without, and where else can it come from, but from lands beyond the sea?

Therefore it is that the Christian people of England and America come to the people of India, not in a tone of self-righteousness, assuming that we are better than they, but in the name of humanity, of the brotherhood of the human race. We believe that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth," and these Hindoos, though living on the other side of the globe, are our brothers. They are born into the same world; they belong to the same human family, and have the same immortal destiny. To such a people, capable of great things, but crushed and oppressed, 259 we come to do them good. We would break the terrible bondage of caste, and bring forth woman out of the prison-house where she passes her lonely existence. This involves a social as well as a religious revolution. But what a sigh of relief would it bring to millions who, under their present conditions, are all their lifetime subject to bondage.

There is a saying in the East that in India the flowers yield no perfume, the birds never sing, and the women never smile. Of course this is an exaggeration, and yet it has a basis of truth. It is true that the flowers of the tropics, though often of brilliant hues, do not yield the rich perfume of the roses of our Northern clime; and many of the birds whose golden plumage flashes sunlight in the deep gloom of tropical forests, have only a piercing shriek, instead of the soft, delicious notes of the robin and the dove; and the women have a downcast look. Well may it be so. They lead a secluded and solitary life. Shut up in their zenanas, away from society, they have no part in many of the joys of human existence, though they have more than their share of life's burdens and its woes. No wonder that their faces should be sad and sorrowful. Thus the whole creation seems to groan and travail in pain.

Now we desire to dispel the darkness and the gloom of ages, and to bring smiles and music and flowers once more into this stricken world. Teaching a religion of love and good will to men, we would cure the hatred of races, and bring all together in a common brotherhood. We would so lift up the poor of this world, that sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and that every lowly Indian hut shall be filled with the light of a new existence. In that day will not nature share in the joy of man's deliverance? Then will the birds begin to sing, as if they were let loose from the gates of heaven to go flying through the earth, and to fill our common air with the voice of melody. Then shall smiles be seen once more on human faces; not the loud cackling of empty laughter; 260 but smiles breaking through tears (the reflection of a peace that passeth understanding), shall spread like sunshine over the sad faces of the daughters of Asia.

But some "old Indian" who has listened politely, yet smiling and incredulous, to this defence of missions, may answer, "All this is very fine; no doubt it would be a good thing if the people of India would change their religion; would cast off Hindooism, and adopt Christianity. But is it not practically impossible? Do all the efforts of missionaries really amount to anything." This is a fair question, and I will try to give it a fair answer.

"Do missionaries do any good?" Perhaps we can best answer the question by drawing the picture of an Indian village, such as one may see at thousands of points scattered over the country. It is a cluster of huts, constructed sometimes with a light frame-work of bamboo, filled in with matting, but more commonly of mud, with a roof of thatch to prevent its being washed away in the rainy season. These huts are separated from each other by narrow lanes that can hardly be dignified with the name of streets. Yet in such a hamlet of hovels, hardly fit for human habitation, may be a large population. Every doorway is swarming with children. On the outskirts of the village is the missionary bungalow, a large one-story house, also built of mud, but neatly whitewashed and protected from the rains by a heavy thatched roof, which projects over the walls, and shades the broad veranda. In the "compound" are two other buildings of the same rude material and simple architecture, a church and a schoolhouse. In the latter are gathered every day ten, twenty, fifty—perhaps a hundred—children, with bare feet and poor garments, though clean, but with bright eyes, and who seem eager to learn. All day long comes from that low building a buzz and hum as from a hive of bees. Every Sunday is gathered in the little chapel a congregation chiefly of poor people, plainly but neatly dressed, and who, as they 261 sit there, reclaimed from heathenism, seem to be "clothed and in their right minds." To the poor the Gospel is preached, and never does it show its sweetness and power, as when it comes down into such abodes of poverty, and gives to these humble natives a new hope and a new life—a life of joy and peace. Perhaps in the same compound is an orphanage, in which are gathered the little castaways who have been deserted by their parents, left by the roadside to die—or whose parents may have died by cholera—and who are thus rescued from death, and given the chance which belongs to every human creature of life and of happiness.

Perhaps the missionary is a little of a physician, and has a small chest of medicines, and the poor people come to him for cures of their bodily ailments, as well as for their spiritual troubles. After awhile he gains their confidence, and becomes, not by any appointment, but simply by the right of goodness and the force of character, a sort of unofficial magistrate, or head man of the village, a general peacemaker and benefactor. Can any one estimate the influence of such a man, with his gentle wife at his side, who is also active both in teaching and in every form of charity? Who does not see that such a missionary bungalow, with its school, its orphanage, and its church, and its daily influences of teaching and of example, is a centre of civilization, when planted in the heart of an Indian village?

How extensive is this influence will of course depend on the many or the few devoted to this work, and the wisdom and energy with which they pursue it. The number of missionaries in India is very small compared with the vast population. And yet the picture here drawn of one village is reproduced in hundreds of villages. Take the representatives of all the churches and societies of Protestant Christendom, they would make a very respectable force. But even this does not represent the full amount of influence they exert. Moral influences cannot be weighed and measured like 262 material forces. Nor are missionaries to be counted, like the soldiers of an army. They are not drawn up on parade, and do not march through the streets, with gleaming bayonets. Their forces are scattered, and their work is silent and unseen.

But in all quiet ways, by churches, schools, and orphanages, their influence is felt; while by the printing-press they scatter religious truth all over India, the effect of which, in tens of thousands of those whom it does not "convert," is to destroy the power of their old idolatry.

That more Hindoos do not openly embrace Christianity is not surprising, when one considers the social influences which restrain them. When a Hindoo becomes a Christian, he is literally an outcast. His most intimate friends will not know him. His own family turn him from their door, feeling that he has brought upon them a disgrace far greater than if he had committed a crime for which he was to perish on the scaffold. To them he is dead, and they perform his funeral rites as if he were no more in this world. The pastor of the native church in Bombay has thus been buried or burned by his own family. Another told me that his own father turned from him in the street, and refused to recognize him. These things are very hard to bear. And so far from wondering that there are not more conversions among the natives of India, I wonder that there are so many.

But what sort of Christians are they? Are they like English or American Christians? When I landed in India, and saw what a strange people I was among, how unlike our own race, I asked a question which many have asked before: Whether these people could become Christians? It is a favorite idea of many travellers—and of many English residents in India—that not only is the number of conversions small, but that the "converts" are not worth having when they are made. It is said that it is only low caste natives, who have nothing to lose, that will desert their old religion; 263 and that they are influenced only by the lowest motives, and that while they profess to be converted, they are in no wise changed from what they were, except that to their old heathen vices they have added that of hypocrisy. Hearing these things, I have taken some pains to ascertain what sort of people these native converts are. I have attended their religious services, and have met them socially, and, so far as I could judge, I have never seen more simple-minded Christians. Some of them are as intelligent as the best instructed members of our New England churches. As to their low caste, statistics show, among them, a greater proportion of Brahmins than of any other caste, as might be expected from their greater intelligence.

The work, then, has not been in vain. The advance is slow, but it is something that there is an advance. I am told, as the result of a careful estimate, that if the progress continues in the future as it has for the last fifteen years, in two centuries the whole of India with its two hundred millions of people, will be converted to the Christian religion. This is a spread of Christianity more rapid than that in the age of the apostles, for it was three centuries before the faith which they preached became master of the Roman empire.

With such a record of what Christian Missions have done in India, with such evidences of their good influence and growing power, they are entitled to honor and respect as one of the great elements in the problem of the future of that country. To speak of them flippantly, argues but small acquaintance with the historical forces which have hitherto governed India or indeed Britain itself. It ill becomes Englishmen to sneer at missions, for to missionaries they owe it that their island has been reclaimed from barbarism. When Augustine landed in Britain their ancestors were clothed in skins, and roaming in forests. It was the new religion that softened their manners, refined their lives, and in the lapse of generations wrought out the slow process of civilization. 264

In Johnson's "Tour to the Hebrides," he refers to the early missionaries who civilized Britain in a passage which is one of the most eloquent in English literature: "We were now treading that illustrious island which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge and the blessings of religion.... Far from me and from my friends, be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery or virtue. That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona."

That power which has made England so great; which has made the English race the foremost race in all this world; is now carried to another hemisphere to work the same gradual elevation in the East. It is a mighty undertaking. The lifting up of a race is like the lifting up of a continent. Such changes cannot come suddenly; but in the slow lapse of ages the continent may be found to have risen, and to be covered, as it were, with a new floral vegetation; as that faith, which is the life of Europe, has entered into the vast populations of Asia.




We had begun to feel ourselves at home in India. A stranger takes root quickly, as foreign plants take root in the soil, and spring up under the sun and rain of the tropics. A traveller makes acquaintances that ripen into friendship and bind him so fast that it is a real pain when he has to break away and leave these new friends behind. Thus Allahabad had become our Indian home. The missionary community was so delightful, and everybody was so kind and hospitable, that we had come to feel as if we were only in an outlying corner of America. The missionary bungalow was like a parsonage in New England; and when we left all, and the train rolled across the long bridge over the Jumna, from which we saw Miss Seward and Miss Wilson standing on their veranda, and waving us farewell, it seemed as if we were leaving home.

But the holy city was before us. Some seventy miles from Allahabad stands a city which, to the devout Hindoo, is the most sacred place on earth—one which overtops all others, as the Himalayas overtop all other mountains on the globe. There are holy shrines in different countries, which are held sacred by the devotees of different religions; but there are four chief holy cities—Rome, Jerusalem, Mecca, and Benares. As the devout Catholic makes a pilgrimage to Rome, to receive the blessing of the Holy Father; as the Jew traverses land and sea, that his feet may stand within the gates of Jerusalem, where he weeps at the place of wailing under the walls of the ancient temple; as the caravan of the Arab still 266 crosses the desert to Mecca; so does the devout Hindoo come to Benares, and count it his supreme joy if he can but see its domes and towers; and eternal felicity to die on the banks of the sacred river.

A couple of hours brought us to the Ganges, from which we had a full view of the city on the other side of the river. If the first sight did not awaken in us the same emotions as in the mind of the Hindoo, the scene was picturesque enough to excite our admiration. The appearance of Benares is very striking. For two miles it presents a succession of palaces and temples which are built not only on, but almost in, the river, as Venice is built in the sea; the huge structures crowding each other on the bank, and flights of steps going down into the water, as if they would receive the baptism of the sacred river as it flowed gently by; as if the people listened fondly to its murmurs, and when wakened in their dreams, were soothed to hear its waters lapping the very stones of their palaces.

We crossed the river on a bridge of boats, and drove out to the English quarter, which is two or three miles distant, and here rested an hour or two before we took a courier and plunged into the labyrinth of the city, in which a stranger would soon be lost who should attempt to explore it without a guide. Benares would be well worth a visit if it were only for its Oriental character. It is peculiarly an Indian city, with every feature of Asiatic and of Indian life strongly marked. Its bazaars are as curious and as rich as any in Asia, with shawls of cashmere, and silks wrought by fine needlework into every article of costly array. It has also cunning workmen in precious metals and precious stones—in gold and silver and diamonds. One special industry is workmanship in brass. We brought away a number of large trays, curiously wrought like shields. One contains a lesson in Hindoo mythology for those who are able to read it, as on it are traced all the incarnations of Vishnu. 267

While thus rambling about the city, we had an opportunity to see something of the marriage customs of the Hindoos, as we met in the streets a number of wedding processions. The heavenly influences were favorable to such unions. The Hindoos are great astrologers, and give high importance to the conjunction of the stars, and do not marry except when Jupiter is in the ascendant. Just now he rides high in the heavens, and this is the favored time of love. The processions were very curious. The bridegroom was mounted on horseback, tricked out in the dress of a harlequin, with a crowd on horses and on foot, going before and following after, waving flags, beating drums, and making all manner of noises, to testify their joy; while the bride, who was commonly a mere child, was borne in a palanquin, covered with ribbons and trinkets and jewelry, looking, as she sat upright in her doll's house, much more as if she were a piece of frosted cake being carried to the wedding, than a living piece of flesh and blood that had any part therein. Altogether the scene was more like a Punch-and-Judy show, than any part of the serious business of life. Engagements are often made when the parties are in childhood, or even in infancy; and the marriage consummated at twelve. These child-marriages are a great curse to the country, as they fill the land with their puny offspring, that wither like weeds in the hot sun of India. It is a pity that they could not be prohibited; that marriages could not be forbidden until the parties had reached at least sixteen years of age.

Another thing which greatly amused us was to see how the people made way for us wherever we came. The streets are very narrow, and there is not room for a jostling crowd. But their politeness stopped at no obstacle. They meant to give us a free passage. They drew to one side, making themselves very small, and even hugging the wall, to get out of our way. We accepted this delicate attention as a mark of respect, which we thought a touching proof of Oriental courtesy; 268 and with the modesty of our countrymen, regarded it as an homage to our greatness. We were a little taken aback at being informed that, on the contrary, it was to avoid pollution; that if they but touched the hem of our garments, they would have had to run to the Ganges to wash away the stain!

But we need not make merry with these strict observances of the people, for with them Religion is the great business of life, and it is as the Mecca of their faith that Benares has such interest for the intelligent traveller. No city in India, perhaps none in all Asia, dates back its origin to a more remote antiquity. It is the very cradle of history and of religion. Here Buddha preached his new faith centuries before Christ was born in Judea—a faith which still sways a larger part of mankind than any other, though it has lost its dominion in the place where it began. Here Hindooism, once driven out, still fought and conquered, and here it still has its seat, from which it rules its vast and populous empire.

It is always interesting to study a country or a religion in its capital. As we go to Rome to see Romanism, we come to Benares to see Hindooism, expecting to find it in its purest form. Whether that is anything to boast of, we can tell better after we have seen a little of this, its most holy city. Benares is full of temples and shrines. Of course we could only visit a few of the more sacred. The first that we entered was like a menagerie. It was called the Monkey Temple; and rightly so, for the place was full of the little creatures. It fairly swarmed with them. They were overhead and all around us, chattering as if they were holding a council in the heart of a tropical forest. The place was for all the world like the monkey-house in the Zoölogical Gardens in London, or in our Central Park in New York, and would be an amusing resort for children were it not regarded as a place for religious worship. Perhaps some innocent traveller thinks this a touching proof of the charming simplicity 269 of the Hindoos, that they wish to call on all animated nature to unite in devotion, and that thus monkeys (speaking the language which monkeys understand) are permitted to join with devout Hindoos in the worship of their common Creator. But a glance shows the stranger that the monkeys are here, not to worship, but to be worshipped. According to the Pantheism of the Hindoos, all things are a part of God. Not only is he the author of life, but he lives in his creatures, so that they partake of his divinity; and therefore whatsoever thing liveth and moveth on the earth—beast, or bird, or reptile—is a proper object of worship.

But the monkeys were respectable compared with the hideous idol which is enthroned in this place. In the court of the Temple is a shrine, a Holy of Holies, where, as the gilded doors are swung open, one sees a black divinity, with thick, sensual lips, that are red with blood, and eyes that glare fiendishly. This is the goddess Doorgha, whose sacred presence is guarded by Brahmin priests, so that no profane foot may come near her. While they kept us back with holy horror from approaching, they had no scruples about reaching out their hands to receive our money. It is the habit of strangers to drop some small coin in the outstretched palms. But I was too much disgusted to give to the beggars. They were importunate, and said the Prince of Wales, who was there a few days before, had given them a hundred rupees. Perhaps he felt under a necessity of paying such a mark of respect to the religion of the great Empire he was to rule. But ordinary travellers are under no such obligation. The rascals trade in the curiosity of strangers. It might be well if they did not find it such a source of revenue. So I would not give them a penny; though I confess to spending a few pice on nuts and "sweets" for the monkeys, who are the only ones entitled to "tribute" from visitors; and then, returning to the gharri, we rode disgusted away. In another part of the city is the Golden Temple, devoted to the god 270 Shiva, which divides with that of the monkeys the homage of the Hindoos. Here are no chattering apes, though the place is profaned with the presence of beasts and birds. Some dozen cows were standing or lying down in the court, making it seem more like a stable or a barnyard than a holy place. Yet here was a fakir rapt in the ecstasies of devotion, with one arm uplifted, rigid as a pillar of iron. He was looked upon with awe by the faithful who crowded around him, and who rewarded his sanctity by giving him money; but to our profane eyes he was a figure of pride (though disguised under the pretence of spirituality), as palpable to the sight as the peacock who spread his tail and strutted about in the filthy enclosure.

But perhaps the reader will think that we have had enough of this, and will gladly turn to a less revolting form of superstition. The great sight of Benares is the bathing in the Ganges. This takes place in the morning. We rose early the next day, and drove down to the river, and getting a boat, were rowed slowly for hours up and down the stream. It is lined with temples and palaces, which descend to the water by flights of steps, or ghauts, which at this hour are thronged with devout Hindoos. By hundreds and thousands they come down to the river's brink, men, women, and children, and wade in, not swimming, but standing in the water, plunging their heads and mumbling their prayers, and performing their libations, by taking the water in their hands, and casting it towards the points of the compass, as an act of worship to the celestial powers, especially to the sun.

As the boatmen rested on their oars, that we might observe the strange scene, C—— started with horror to see a corpse in the water. It was already half decayed, and obscene birds were fluttering over it. But this is too common a sight in Benares to raise any emotion in the breast of the Hindoo, whose prayer is that he may die on the banks of the Ganges. Does his body drift down with the stream, or become food 271 for the fowls of the air, his soul floats to its final rest in the Deity, as surely as the Ganges rolls onward to the sea.

But look! here is another scene. We are approaching the Burning Ghaut, and I see piles of wood, and human bodies, and smoke and flame. I bade the boatmen draw to the shore, that we might have a clearer view of this strange sight. Walking along the bank, we came close to the funeral piles. Several were waiting to be lighted. When all is ready, the nearest male relative walks round and round the pile, and then applies to it a lighted withe of straw. Here was a body just dressed for the last rites. It was wrapped in coarse garments, perhaps all that affection could give. Beside it stood a woman, watching it with eager eyes, lest any rude hand should touch the form which, though dead, was still beloved. I looked with pity into her sad, sorrowful face. What a tale of affection was there!—of love for the life that was ended, and the form that was cherished, that was soon to be but ashes, and to float away upon the bosom of the sacred river.

Another pile was already lighted, and burning fiercely. I stood close to it, till driven away by the heat and smoke. As the flames closed round the form, portions of the body were exposed. Now the hair was consumed in a flash, leaving the bare skull; now the feet showed from the other end of the pile. It was a ghastly sight. Now a horrid smell filled the air, and still the pile glowed like a furnace, crackling with the intense heat, and shot out tongues of flame that seemed eager to lick up every drop of blood.

In this disposal of the dead there is nothing to soothe the mourner like a Christian burial, when the body is committed to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, when a beloved form is laid down under the green turf gently, as on a mother's breast.

The spectacle of this morning, with the similar one at Allahabad, have set me a-thinking. I ask, What idea do the 272 Hindoos attach to bathing in the Ganges? Is it purification or expiation, or both? Is it the putting away of sin by the washing of water; the cleansing of the body for the sins of the soul? Or is there in it some idea of atonement? What is the fascination of this religious observance? Perhaps no stranger can fully understand it, or enter into the feeling with which the devout Hindoo regards the sacred river. The problem grows the more we study it. However we approach the great river of India, we find a wealth of associations gathering around it such as belongs to no other river on the face of the earth. No other is so intimately connected with the history and the whole life of a people. Other rivers have poetical or patriotic associations. The ancient Romans kept watch on the Tiber, as the modern Germans keep watch on the Rhine. But these are associations of country and of patriotic pride—not of life, not of existence, not of religion. In these respects the only river in the world which approaches the Ganges is the Nile, which, coming down from the Highlands of Central Africa, floods the long valley, which it has itself made in the desert, turning the very sands into fertility, and thus becoming the creator and life-giver of Egypt.

What the Nile is to Egypt, the Ganges is to a part of India, giving life and verdure to plains that but for it were a desert. As it bursts through the gates of the Himalayas, and sweeps along with resistless current, cooling with its icy breath the hot plains of India, and giving fertility to the rice fields of Bengal, it may well seem to the Hindoo the greatest visible emblem of Almighty power and Infinite beneficence.

But it is more than an emblem. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the Nile as a god, and in this they had the same feeling which now exists among the Hindoos in regard to the Ganges. It is not only a sacred river because of its associations; it is itself Divine, flowing, like the River of Life in the Book of Revelation, out of the throne of God. It descends out of heaven, rising in mountains whose tops touch 273 the clouds—the sacred mountains which form the Hindoo Kylas, or Heaven, the abode of the Hindoo Trinity—of Brahma and Shiva and Vishnu. Rushing from under a glacier in the region of everlasting snow, it seems as if it gushed from the very heart of the Dweller on that holy mount; as if that flowing stream were the life-blood of the Creator. When the Hindoo has seized this idea, it takes strong hold of his imagination. As he stands on the banks of the Ganges at night, and sees its broad current quivering under the rays of the full moon, it seems indeed as if it were the clear stream flowing through the calm breast of God himself, bearing life from Him to give life to the world. Hence in his creed it has all the virtue and the "divine power that belongs in the Christian system to the blood of Christ. It makes atonement for sins that are past." "He that but looks on the Ganges," says the Hindoo proverb, "or that drinks of it, washes away the stains of a hundred births; but he that bathes in it washes away the stains of a thousand births." This is a virtue beyond that of the Nile, or the rivers of Damascus, or of the Jordan, or even of

Siloa's brook

That flowed fast by the oracle of God.

It is a virtue which can be found alone in that blood which "cleanseth from all sin."

The spectacle of such superstition produced a strong revulsion of feeling, and made me turn away from these waters that cannot cleanse the guilty soul, nor save the dying, to the Mighty Sufferer, whose blood was shed for the sins of the world, and I seemed to hear voices in far-off Christian lands singing:

E'er since by faith I saw the stream

Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die.


But I do not sit in judgment on the Hindoos, nor include a whole people in one general condemnation. Some of them are as noble specimens of humanity, with as much "natural goodness" as can be found anywhere; and are even religious in their way, and in zeal and devotion an example to their Christian neighbors. Of this, a very striking instance can be given here.

On the other side of the Ganges lives a grand old Hindoo, the Maharajah of Benares, and as he is famed for his hospitality to strangers, we sent him a letter by a messenger (being assured that that was the proper thing to do), saying that we should be happy to pay our respects to my lord in his castle; and in a few hours received a reply that his carriage should be sent to our hotel for us the next morning, and that his boat would convey us across the river. We did not wait for the carriage, as we were in haste to depart for Calcutta the same forenoon, but rode down in our own gharri to the river side, where we found the boat awaiting us. On the other bank stood a couple of elephants of extraordinary size, that knelt down and took us on their broad backs, and rolled off at a swinging pace to a pleasant retreat of the Maharajah a mile or two from the river, where he had a temple of his own, situated in the midst of beautiful gardens.

On our return we were marched into the courtyard of the castle, where the attendants received us, and escorted us within. The Maharajah did not make his appearance, as it was still early, but his secretary presented himself to do the honors, giving his master's respects with his photograph, and showing us every possible courtesy. We were shown through the rooms of state, where the Prince of Wales had been received a few weeks before. The view from the terrace on the river side is enchanting. It is directly on the water, and commands a view up and down the Ganges for miles, while across the smooth expanse rise the temples and palaces of the Holy City. What a place for a Brahmin to live or to die! 275

This Maharajah of Benares is well known all over India. He is a member of the Viceroy's Council at Calcutta, and held in universal respect by the English community. Sir William Muir, who is one of the most pronounced Christian men in India, whom some would even call a Puritan for his strictness, told me that the Maharajah was one of the best of men. And yet he is of the straitest sect of the Hindoos, who bathes in the Ganges every morning, and "does his pooja." In all religious observances he is most exemplary, often spending hours in prayer. The secretary, in excusing his master's absence, said that he had been up nearly all night engaged in his devotions. How this earnest faith in a religion so vile can consist with a life so pure and so good, is one of the mysteries of this Asiatic world which I leave to those wiser than I am to explain.

We had lingered so long that it was near the hour of our departure for Calcutta, and we were three miles up the river. The secretary accompanied us to the boat of the Maharajah, which was waiting for us, and bade us farewell, with many kind wishes that we might have a prosperous journey. Lying against the bank was the gilded barge in which the Maharajah had received and escorted the Prince of Wales. Waving our adieu, we gave the signal, and the boatmen pushed off into the stream. It was now a race against time. We had a long stretch to make in a very few minutes. I offered the men a reward if they should reach the place in time. The stalwart rowers bent to their oars, their swarthy limbs making swift strokes, and the boat shot like an arrow down the stream. I stood up in the eagerness and excitement of the chase, taking a last look at the sacred temples as we shot swiftly by. It wanted but two or three minutes of the hour as our little pinnace struck against the goal by the bridge of boats, and throwing the rupees to the boatmen, we hurried up the bank, and had just time to get fairly bestowed in the roomy first-class carriage, which we had all to ourselves, 276 when the train started for Calcutta, and the towers and domes and minarets of the holy city of India faded from our sight.

Thinking! Still thinking! What does it all mean? Who can understand Hindooism—where it begins and where it ends? It is like the fabled tree that had its roots down in the Kingdom of Death, and spread its branches over the world. Behind it, or beneath it, is a deep philosophy, which goes down to the very beginnings of existence, and touches the most vital problems of life and death, of endless dying and living. Out of millions of ages, after a million births, following each other in long succession, at last man is cast upon the earth, but only as a bird of passage, darting swiftly through life, and then, in an endless transmigration of souls, passing through other stages of being, till he is absorbed in the Eternal All. Thus does man find his way at last back to God, as the drop of water, caught up by the sun, lifted into the cloud, descends in the rain, trickles in streams down the mountain side, and finds its way back to the ocean. So does the human soul complete the endless cycle of existence, coming from God and returning to God, to be swallowed up and lost in that Boundless Sea.

Much might be said, by way of argument, in support of this pantheistic philosophy. But whatever may be urged in favor of Hindooism in the abstract, its practical results are terrible. By a logic as close and irresistible as it is fatal, it takes away the foundation of all morality, and strikes down all goodness and virtue—all that is the glory of man, and all that is the beauty of woman. It is nothing to the purpose to quote the example of such a man as the Maharajah of Benares, for there is a strange alchemy in virtue, by which a pure nature, a high intelligence, and right moral instincts, will convert even the most pernicious doctrines to the purpose of a spiritual life. But with the mass of Hindoos it is only a system of abject superstition and terror. As we rolled 277 along the banks of the Ganges, I thought what tales that stream could tell. Could we but listen in the dead of night, what sounds we might hear! Hush! hark! There is a footstep on the shore. The rushes on the bank are parted, and a Hindoo mother comes to the water's edge. Look! she holds a child in her arms. She starts back, and with a shriek casts it to the river monsters. Such scenes are not frequent now, because the government has repressed them by law, though infanticide is fearfully common in other ways. But even yet in secret—"darkly at dead of night"—does fanaticism sometimes pay its offering to the river which is worshipped as a god. This is what Hindooism does for the mother and for her child. Thus it wrongs at once childhood and motherhood and womanhood. Who that thinks of such scenes can but pray that a better faith may be given to the women of India, that the mother may no longer look with anguish into the face of her own child, as one doomed to destruction, but like any Christian mother, clasp her baby to her breast, thanking God who has given it to her, and bidden her keep it, and train it up for life, for virtue and for happiness.

But is there any hope of seeing Hindooism destroyed? I fear not very soon. When I think how many ages it has stood, and what mighty forces it has resisted, the task seems almost hopeless. For centuries it fought with Buddhism for the conquest of India, and remained master of the field. Then came Mohammedanism in the days of the Mogul Empire. It gained a foothold, and reared its mosques even in the Holy City of the Hindoos. To this day the most splendid structure in Benares is the great Mosque of Aurungzebe. As I climbed its tall minaret, and looked over the city, I saw here and there the gilded domes and slender spires that mark the temples of Islam. But these fierce iconoclasts, who set out from Arabia to break the idols in pieces, could not destroy them here. The fanatical Aurungzebe could build his mosque, 278 with its minaret so lofty as to overtop all the temples of Paganism; but he could not convert the idolaters. With such tenacity did they cling to their faith, that even the religion of the Prophet could make little impression, though armed with all the power of the sword.

And now come modern civilization and Christianity. The work of "tearing down" is not left to Missions alone. There is in India a vast system of National Education. In Benares there is an University whose stately halls would not look out of place among the piles of Oxford. In the teaching there is a rigid—I had almost said a religious—abstinence from religion. But science is taught, and science confutes the Hindoo cosmogony. When it is written in the Purânas that the world rests on the back of an elephant, and that the elephant stands on the back of a tortoise, and the tortoise on the back of the great serpent Nâga, it needs but a very little learning to convince the young Hindoo that his sacred books are a mass of fables. But this does not make him a Christian. It lands him in infidelity, and leaves him there. And this is the state of the educated mind of India, of what is sometimes designated as Young India, or Young Bengal. Here they stand—deep in the mire of unbelief, as if they had tried to plant their feet on the low-lying Delta of the Ganges, and found it sink beneath them, with danger of being buried in Gangetic ooze and slime. But even this is better than calling to gods that cannot help them; for at least it may give them a sense of their weakness and danger. It may be that the educated mind of India has to go through this stage of infidelity before it can come into the light of a clearer faith. At present they believe nothing, yet conform to Hindoo customs for social reasons, for fear of losing caste. This is all-powerful. It is hard for men to break away from it in detail. But once that a breach is made in their ranks, the same social tyranny may carry them over en masse, so that a nation shall be born in a day. At present the work that is going on is that of sapping 279 and mining, of boring holes into the foundation of Hindooism; and this is done as industriously, and perhaps as effectively, by Government schools and colleges as by Missions.

At Benares we observed, in sailing up and down the Ganges, that the river had undermined a number of temples built upon its banks, and that they had fallen with their huge columns and massive architecture, and were lying in broken and shapeless masses, half covered by the water. What a spectacle of ruin and decay in the Holy City of the Hindoos! This is a fit illustration of the process which has been going on for the last half century in regard to Hindooism. The waters are washing it away, and by and by the whole colossal fabric, built up in ages of ignorance and superstition, will come crashing to the earth. Hindooism will fall, and great will be the fall of it.




It is a good rule in travelling, as in rhetoric, to keep the best to the last, and wind up with a climax. But it would be hard to find a climax in India after seeing the old Mogul capitals, whose palaces and tombs outshine the Alhambra; after climbing the Himalayas, and making a pilgrimage to the holy city. And yet one feels a crescendo of interest in approaching the capital. India has three capitals—Delhi, where once reigned the Great Mogul, and which is still the centre of the Mohammedan faith; Benares, the Mecca of the Hindoos; and Calcutta, the capital of the modern British Empire. The two former we have seen; it is the last which is now before us.

Our route was southeast, along the valley of the Ganges, and through the province of Bengal. What is the magic of a name? From childhood the most vivid association I had with this part of India, was that of Bengal tigers, which were the wonder of every menagerie; and it was not strange if we almost expected to see them crouching in the forest, or gliding away in the long grass of the jungle. But Bengal has other attractions to one who rides over it. This single province of India is five times as large as the State of New York. It is a vast alluvial plain, through which the Ganges pours by a hundred mouths to the sea, its overflow giving to the soil a richness and fertility like that of the valley of the Nile, so that it supports a population equal to that of the whole of the 281 United States. The cultivated fields that we pass show the natural wealth of the country, as the frequent towns show the density of the population. Of these the largest is Patna, the centre of the opium culture. But we did not stop anywhere, for the way was long. From Benares to Calcutta is over four hundred miles, or about as far as from New York city to Niagara Falls. We started at eleven o'clock, and kept steadily travelling all day. Night fell, and the moon rose over the plains and the palm groves, and still we fled on and on, as if pursued by the storm spirits of the Hindoo Kylas, till the morning broke, and found us on the banks of a great river filled with shipping, and opposite to a great city. This was the Hoogly, one of the mouths of the Ganges, and there was Calcutta! A carriage whirled us swiftly across the bridge, and up to the Great Eastern Hotel, where we were glad to rest, after travelling three thousand miles in India, and to exchange even the most luxurious railway carriage for beds and baths, and the comforts of civilization. The hotel stands opposite the Government House, the residence of the Viceroy of India, and supplies everything necessary to the dignity of a "burra Sahib." Soft-footed Hindoos glided silently about, watching our every motion, and profoundly anxious for the honor of being our servants. A stalwart native slept on the mat before my door, and attended on my going out and my coming in, as if I had been a grand dignitary of the Empire.

Calcutta bears a proud name in the East—that of the City of Palaces—from which a traveller is apt to experience a feeling of disappointment. And yet the English portion of the city is sufficiently grand to make it worthy to rank with the second class of European capitals. The Government House, from its very size, has a massive and stately appearance, and the other public buildings are of corresponding proportions. The principal street, called the Chowringhee road, is lined for two miles with the handsome 282 houses of government officials or wealthy English residents. But the beauty of Calcutta is the grand esplanade, called the Maidan—an open space as large as our Central Park in New York; beginning at the Government House, and reaching to Fort William, and beyond it; stretching for two or three miles along the river, and a mile back from it to the mansions of the Chowringhee Road. This is an immense parade-ground for military and other displays. Here and there are statues of men who have distinguished themselves in the history of British India. Tropical plants and trees give to the landscape their rich masses of color and of shade, while under them and around them is spread that carpet of green so dear to the eyes of an Englishman in any part of the world—a wide sweep of soft and smooth English turf. Here at sunset one may witness a scene nowhere equalled except in the great capitals of Europe. In the middle of the day the place is deserted, except by natives, whom, being "children of the sun," he does not "smite by day," though the moon may smite them by night. The English residents are shut closely within doors, where they seek, by the waving of punkas, and by admitting the air only through mats dripping with water, to mitigate the terrible heat. But as the sun declines, and the palms begin to cast their shadows across the plain, and a cool breeze comes in from the sea, the whole English world pours forth. The carriage of the Viceroy rolls out from under the arches of the Government House, and the other officials are abroad. A stranger is surprised at the number of dashing equipages, with postilions and servants in liveries, furnished by this foreign city. These are not all English. Native princes and wealthy baboos vie with Englishmen in the bravery of their equipages, and give to the scene a touch of Oriental splendor. Officers on horseback dash by, accompanied often by fair English faces; while the band from Fort William plays the martial airs of England. It is indeed a brilliant spectacle, which, 283 but for the turbans and the swarthy faces under them, would make the traveller imagine himself in Hyde Park.

From this single picture it is easy to see why Calcutta is to an Englishman the most attractive place of residence in India, or in all the East. It is more like London. It is a great capital—the capital of the Indian Empire; the seat of government; the residence of the Viceroy, around whom is assembled a kind of viceregal court, composed of all the high officials, both civil and military. There is an Army and Navy Club, where one may meet many old soldiers who have seen service in the Indian wars, or who hold high appointments in the present force. The assemblage of such a number of notable men makes a large and brilliant English society.

Nor is it confined to army officers or government officials. Connected with the different colleges are men who are distinguished Oriental scholars. Then there is a Bishop of Calcutta, who is the Primate of India, with his clergy, and English and American missionaries, who make altogether a very miscellaneous society.[8] Here Macaulay lived for three years 284 as a member of the Governor's Council, and was the centre of a society which, if it lacked other attractions, must have found a constant stimulus in his marvellous conversation.

And yet with all these attractions of Calcutta, English residents still pine for England. One can hardly converse with an English officer, without finding that it is his dream to get through with his term of service as soon as he may, and return to spend the rest of his days in his dear native island. Even Macaulay—with all the resources that he had in himself, with all that he found Anglo-Indian society, and all that he made it—regarded life in India as only a splendid exile.

The climate is a terrible drawback. Think of a country, where in the hot season the mercury rises to 117-120° in the shade; while if the thermometer be exposed to the sun, it quickly mounts to 150, 160, or even 170°!—a heat to which no European can be exposed for half an hour without danger of sunstroke. Such is the heat that it drives the government out of Calcutta for half the year. For six months the Viceroy and his staff emigrate, bag and baggage, going up the country twelve hundred miles to Simla, on the first range of the Himalayas, which is about as if the President of the United States and his Cabinet should leave Washington on the first of May, and transfer the seat of government to some high point in the Rocky Mountains.

But the climate is not the only, nor the chief, drawback to life in India. It is the absence from home, from one's country and people, which makes it seem indeed like exile. Make the best of it, Calcutta is not London. What a man like Macaulay misses, is not the English climate, with its rains and fogs, but the intellectual life, which centres in the British capital. It was this which made him write to his sister that "A lodgings up three pairs of stairs in London was better than a palace in a compound at Chowringhee." I confess I cannot understand how any man, who has a respectable 285 position in his own country, should choose Calcutta, or any other part of India, as a place of residence, except for a time; as a merchant goes abroad for a few years, in the hope of such gain as shall enable him to return and live in independence in England or America; or as a soldier goes to a post of duty ("Not his to ask the reason why"); or as a missionary, with the purely benevolent desire of doing good, for which he accepts this voluntary exile.

But if a man has grown, by any mental or moral process, to the idea that life is not given him merely for enjoyment; that its chief end is not to make himself comfortable—to sit at home in England, and hear the storm roar around the British Islands, and thank God that he is safe, though all the rest of the world should perish; if he but once recognize the fact that he has duties, not only to himself, but to mankind; then for such a man there is not on the round globe a broader or nobler field of labor than India. For an English statesman, however great his talents or boundless his ambition, one cannot conceive of a higher place on the earth than that of the Viceroy of India. He is a ruler over more than two hundred millions of human beings, to whose welfare he may contribute by a wise and just administration. What immeasurable good may be wrought by a Governor-General like Lord William Bentinck, of whom it was said that "he was William Penn on the throne of the Great Mogul." A share in this beneficent rule belongs to every Englishman who holds a place in the government of India. He is in a position of power, and therefore of responsibility. To such men is entrusted the protection, the safety, the comfort, and the happiness of multitudes of their fellow-men, to whom they are bound, if not by national ties, yet by the ties of a common humanity.

And for those who have no official position, who have neither place nor power, but who have intelligence and a desire to do good on a wide scale, India offers a field as broad as their ambition, where, either as moral or intellectual instructors, 286 as professors of science or teachers of religion, they may contribute to the welfare of a great people. India is a country where, more than in almost any other in the world, European civilization comes in contact with Asiatic barbarism. Its geographical position illustrates its moral and intellectual position. It is a peninsula stretched out from the lower part of Asia into the Indian Ocean, and great seas dash against it on one side and on the other. So, intellectually and morally, is it placed "where two seas meet," where modern science attacks Hindooism on one side, and Christianity attacks it on the other.

In this conflict English intelligence has already done much for the intellectual emancipation of the people from childish ignorance and folly. In Calcutta there are a number of English schools and colleges, which are thronged with young Bengalees, the flower of the city and the province, who are instructed in the principles of modern science and philosophy. The effect on the mind of Young Bengal has been very great. An English education has accomplished all that was expected from it, except the overthrow of idolatry, and here it has conspicuously failed.

When Macaulay was in India, he devoted much of his time to perfecting the system of National Education, from which he expected the greatest results; which he believed would not only fill the ignorant and vacant minds of the Hindoos with the knowledge of modern science, but would uproot the old idolatry. In the recently published volumes of his letters is one to his father, dated Calcutta, Oct. 12, 1836, in which he says:

"Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully. We find it difficult—in some places impossible—to provide instruction for all who want it. At the single town of Hoogly 1400 boys are learning English. The effect of this education on the Hindoos is prodigious. No Hindoo who has received an English education ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. Some continue to profess it as a 287 matter of policy; but many profess themselves pure Deists, and some embrace Christianity. It is my firm belief that, if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the reputable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytize; without the smallest interference with religious liberty; merely by the natural operation of knowledge and reflection."

These sanguine expectations have been utterly disappointed. Since that letter was written, forty years have passed, and every year has turned out great numbers of educated young men, instructed in all the principles of modern science; and yet the hold of Hindooism seems as strong as ever. I find it here in the capital, as well as in the provinces, and I do not find that it is any better by coming in contact with modern civilization. Nothing at Benares was more repulsive and disgusting than what one sees here. The deity most worshipped in Calcutta is the goddess Kali, who indeed gives name to the city, which is Anglicized from Kali-ghat. She delights in blood, and is propitiated only by constant sacrifices. As one takes his morning drive along the streets leading to her shrine, he sees them filled with young goats, who are driven to the sacred enclosure, which is like a butcher's shambles, so constantly are the heads dropping on the pavement, which is kept wet with blood. She is the patron of thieves and robbers, the one to whom the Thugs always made offerings, in setting out on their expeditions for murder. No doubt the young men educated in the English colleges despise this horrid worship. Yet in their indifference to all religion, they think it better to keep up an outward show of conformity, to retain the respect, or at least the good will, of their Hindoo countrymen, among whom it is the very first condition of any social recognition whatever, that they shall not break away from the religion of their ancestors.

How then are they to be reached? The Christian schools educate the very young; and the orphanages take 288 neglected children and train them from the beginning. But for young men who are already educated in the government colleges, is there any way of reaching them? None, except that of open, direct, manly argument. Several years since President Seelye of Amherst College visited India, and here addressed the educated Hindoos, both in Calcutta and Bombay, on the claims of the Christian religion. He was received with perfect courtesy. Large audiences assembled to hear him, and listened with the utmost respect. What impression he produced, I cannot say; but it seems to me that this is "the way to do it," or at least one way, and a way which gives good hope of success.

In fighting this battle against idolatry, I think we should welcome aid from any quarter, whether it be evangelical or not. While in Calcutta, I paid a visit to Keshoob Chunder Sen, whose name is well known in England from a visit which he made some years ago, as the leader of the Brahmo Somaj. I found him surrounded by his pupils, to whom he was giving instruction. He at once interrupted his teaching for the pleasure of a conversation, to which all listened apparently with great interest. He is in his creed an Unitarian, so far as he adopts the Christian faith. He recognizes the unity of God, and gives supreme importance to prayer. The interview impressed me both with his ability and his sincerity. I cannot agree with some of my missionary friends who look upon him with suspicion, because he does not go far enough. On the contrary, I think it a matter of congratulation that he has come as far as he has, and I should be glad if he could get Young Bengal to follow him. But I do not think the Brahmo Somaj has made great progress. It has scattered adherents in different parts of India, but the whole number of followers is small compared with the masses that cling to their idols. He frankly confessed that the struggle was very unequal, that the power of the old idolatry was tremendous, and especially that the despotism of caste was terrific. To 289 break away from it, required a degree of moral courage that was very rare. The great obstacle to its overthrow was a social one, and grew out of the extreme anxiety of Hindoo parents for the marriage of their children. If they once broke away from caste, it was all over with them. They were literally outcasts. Nobody would speak to them, and they and their children were delivered over to one common curse. This social ostracism impending over them, is a terror which even educated Hindoos dare not face. And so they conform outwardly, while they despise inwardly. Hence, Keshoob Chunder Sen deserves all honor for the stand he has taken, and ought to receive the cordial support of the English and Christian community.

What I have seen in Calcutta and elsewhere satisfies me that in all wise plans for the regeneration of India, Christian missions must be a necessary part. One cannot remember but with a feeling of shame, how slow was England to receive missionaries into her Indian Empire. The first attempt of the English Church to send a few men to India was met with an outcry of disapprobation. Sydney Smith hoped the Government would send the missionaries home. When Carey first landed on these shores, he could not stay in British territory, but had to take refuge at Serampore, a Danish settlement a few miles from Calcutta, where he wrought a work which makes that a place of pilgrimage to every Christian traveller in India. We spent a day there, going over the field of his labor. He is dead, but his work survives. There he opened schools and founded a college, the first of its kind in India (unless it were the government college of Fort William in Calcutta, in which he was also a professor), and which led the way for the establishment of that magnificent system of National Education which is now the glory of India.

What Carey was in his day, Dr. Duff in Calcutta and Dr. Wilson in Bombay were a generation later, vigorous advocates 290 of education as an indispensable means to quicken the torpid mind of India. They were the trusted advisers and counsellors of the government in organizing the present system of National Education. This is but one of many benefits for which this country has to thank missionaries. And if ever India is to be so renovated as to enter into the family of civilized and Christian nations, it will be largely by their labors. One thing is certain, that mere education will not convert the Hindoo. The experiment has been tried and failed. Some other and more powerful means must be taken to quicken the conscience of a nation deadened by ages of false religion—a religion utterly fatal to spiritual life. That such a change may come speedily, is devoutly to be wished. No intelligent traveller can visit India, and spend here two months, without feeling the deepest interest in the country and its people. Our interest grew with every week of our stay, and was strongest as we were about to leave.

The last night that we were in Calcutta, it was my privilege to address the students at one of the Scotch colleges. The hall was crowded, and I have seldom, if ever, spoken to a finer body of young men. These young Bengalees had many of them heads of an almost classical beauty; and with their grace of person heightened by their flowing white robes, they presented a beautiful array of young scholars, such as might delight the eyes of any instructor who should have to teach them "Divine philosophy." My heart "went out" to them very warmly, and as that was my last impression of India, I left it with a very different feeling from that with which I entered it—with a degree of respect for its people, and of interest in them, which I humbly conceive is the very first condition of doing them any good.

It was Sunday evening: the ship on which we were to embark for Burmah was to sail at daybreak, and it was necessary to go on board at once. So hardly had we returned from our evening service, before we drove down to the river. 291 The steamer lay off in the stream, the tide was out, and even the native boats could not come up to where we could step on board. But the inevitable coolies were there, their long naked legs sinking in the mud, who took us on their brawny backs, and carried us to the boats, and in this dignified manner we took our departure from India.

The next morning, as we went on deck, the steamer was dropping down the river. The guns of Fort William were firing a salute; at Garden Reach we passed the palace of the King of Oude, where this deposed Indian sovereign still keeps his royal state among his serpents and his tigers. We were all day long steaming down the Hoogly. The country is very flat; there is nothing to break the monotony of its swamps and jungles, its villages of mud standing amid rice fields and palm groves. As we approach the sea the river divides into many channels, like the lagoons of Venice. All around are low lying islands, which now and then are swept by terrible cyclones that come up from the Bay of Bengal. At present their shores are overgrown with jungles, the home of wild beasts, of serpents, and crocodiles, of all slimy and deadly things, the monsters of the land and sea. Through a net-work of such lagoons, we glide out into the deep; slowly the receding shores sink till they are submerged, as if they were drowned; we have left India behind, and all around is only a watery horizon.




In America we speak of the Far West, which is an undefined region, constantly receding in the distance. So in Asia there is a Far and Farther East, ever coming a little nearer to the rising sun. When we have done with India, there is still a Farther India to be "seen and conquered." On the other side of the Bay of Bengal is a country, which, though called India, and under the East Indian Government, is not India. The very face of nature is different. It is a country not of vast plains, but of mountains and valleys, and springs that run among the hills; a country with another people than India, another language, and another religion. Looking upon the map of Asia, one sees at its southeastern extremity a long peninsula, reaching almost to the equator, with a central range of mountains, an Alpine chain, which runs through its whole length, as the Apennines run through Italy. This is the Malayan peninsula, on one side of which is Burmah, and on the other, Siam, the land of the White Elephant.

Such was the "undiscovered country" before us, as we went on deck of the good ship Malda, four days out from Calcutta, and found her entering the mouth of a river which once bore the proud name of the River of Gold, and was said to flow through a land of gold. These fabled riches have disappeared, but the majestic river still flows on, broad-bosomed like the Nile, and which of itself might make the riches of a country, as the Nile makes the riches of Egypt. 293 This is the mighty Irrawaddy, one of the great rivers of Eastern Asia; which takes its rise in the western part of Thibet, not far from the head waters of the Indus, and runs along the northern slopes of the Himalayas, till it turns south, and winding its way through the passes of the lofty mountains, debouches into Lower Burmah, where it divides into two large branches like the Nile, making a Delta of ten thousand square miles—larger than the Delta of Egypt—whose inexhaustible fertility, yielding enormous rice harvests, has more than once relieved a famine in Bengal.

On the Irrawaddy, twenty-five miles from the sea, stands Rangoon, the capital of British Burmah, a city of nearly a hundred thousand inhabitants. As we approach it, the most conspicuous object is the Great Pagoda, the largest in the world, which is a signal that we are not only in a new country, but one that has a new religion—not Brahmin, but Buddhist—whose towering pagodas, with their gilded roofs, take the place of Hindoo temples and Mohammedan mosques. Rangoon boasts a great antiquity; it is said to have been founded in the sixth century before Christ, but its new masters, the English, with their spirit of improvement, have given it quite a modern appearance. Large steamers in the river and warehouses along its bank, show that the spirit of modern enterprise has invaded even this distant part of Asia.

Burmah is a country with a history, dating back far into the past. It was once the seat of a great empire, with a population many fold larger than now. In the interior are to be found ruins like those in the interior of Cambodia, which mark the sites of ancient cities, and attest the greatness of an empire that has long since passed away. This is a subject for the antiquarian; but I am more interested in its present condition and its future prospects than its past history. Burmah is now a part of the great English Empire in the East, and it has been the scene of events which make a 294 very thrilling chapter in the history of American Missions. Remembering this, as soon as we got on shore we took a gharri, and rode off to find the American missionaries, of whom and of their work I shall have more to say. We brought a letter also to the Chief Commissioner, Mr. Rivers Thompson, who invited us to be his guests while in Rangoon. This gentleman is a representative of the best class of English officials in the East, of those conscientious and laborious men, trained in the civil service in India, whose intelligence and experience make the English rule such a blessing to that country. The presence of a man of such character and such intelligence in a position of such power—for he is virtually the ruler of Burmah—is the greatest benefit to the country. We shall long remember him and his excellent wife—a true Englishwoman—for their courtesy and hospitality, which made our visit to Rangoon so pleasant. The Government House is out of the city, surrounded partly by the natural forest, which was alive with monkeys, that were perched in the trees, and leaping from branch to branch. One species of them had a very wild and plaintive cry, almost like that of a human creature in distress. It is said to be the only animal whose notes range through the whole scale. It begins low, and rises rapidly, till it reaches a pitch at which it sounds like a far-off wail of sorrow. Every morning we were awakened by the singing of birds, the first sound in the forest, with which there came through the open windows a cool, delicious air, laden with a dewy freshness as of Spring, the exquisite sensation of a morning in the tropics. Then came the tramp of soldiers along the walk, changing guard. In the midst of these strange surroundings stood the beautiful English home, with all its culture and refinement, and the morning and evening prayers, that were a sweeter incense to the Author of so much beauty than "the spicy breezes that blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle." The evening drive to the public gardens, where a band of music was playing, 295 gave one a sight of the English residents of Rangoon, and made even an American feel, in hearing his familiar tongue, that he was not altogether a stranger in a strange land. The Commissioner gave me his Report on British Burmah, made to the Government of India. It fills a large octavo volume, and in reading it, one is surprised to learn the extent of the country, which is twice as large as the State of New York, and its great natural wealth in its soil and its forests—the resources for supporting a dense population.

I found the best book on Burmah was by an American missionary, Dr. Mason, who, while devoted to his religious work, had the tastes of a naturalist, and wrote of the country with the enthusiasm of a poet and a man of science.[9] He describes the interior as of marvellous beauty, with rugged mountains, separated by soft green valleys, in which sometimes little lakes, like the Scottish lochs, sleep under the shadow of the hills; and rivers whose banks are like the banks of the Rhine. He says: "British Burmah embraces all variety of aspect, from the flats of Holland, at the mouths of the Irrawaddy, to the more than Scottish beauty of the mountainous valley of the Salwen, and the Rhenish river banks of the Irrawaddy near Prome." With the zest of an Alpine 296 tourist, he climbs the wild passes of the hills, and follows the streams coursing down their sides, to where they leap in waterfalls over precipices fifty or one hundred feet high. Amid this picturesque scenery he finds a fauna and flora, more varied and rich than those of any part of Europe.

The country produces a great variety of tropical fruits; it yields spices and gums; while the natives make use for many purposes of the bamboo and the palm. The wild beasts are hunted for their skins, and the elephants furnish ivory. But the staples of commerce are two—rice and the teak wood. Rice is the universal food of Burmah, as it is of India and of China. And for timber, the teak is invaluable, as it is the only wood that can resist the attacks of the white ants. It is a red wood, like our cedar, and when wrought with any degree of taste and skill, produces a pretty effect. The better class of houses are built of this, and being raised on upright posts, with an open story beneath, and a broad veranda above, they look more like Swiss chalets than like the common Eastern bungalows. The dwellings of the poorer people are mere huts, like Irish shanties or Indian wigwams. They are constructed only with a frame of bamboo, with mats hung between. You could put up one as easily as you would pitch a tent. Drive four bamboo poles in the ground, put cross 297 pieces and hang mats of bark, and you have a Burmese house. To be sure it is a slender habitation—"reeds shaken with the wind;" but it serves to cover the poor occupants, and if an earthquake shakes it down, little harm is done. It costs nothing for house-rent; rice is cheap, and the natives are expert boatmen, and get a part of their living from the rivers and the sea. Their wants are few and easily supplied. "There is perhaps no country in the world," says Mason, "where there are so few beggars, so little suffering, and so much actual independence in the lower strata of society." Thus provided for by nature, they live an easy life. Existence is not a constant struggle. The earth brings forth plentifully for their humble wants. They do not borrow trouble, and are not weighed down with anxiety. Hence the Burmese are very light-hearted and gay. In this they present a marked contrast to some of the Asiatics. They have more of the Mongolian cast of countenance than of the Hindoo, and yet they are not so grave as the Hindoos on the one hand, or as the Chinese on the other. The women have much more freedom than in India. They do not veil their faces, nor are they shut up in their houses. They go about as freely as men, dressed in brilliant colored silks, wound simply and gracefully around them, and carrying the large Chinese umbrellas. They enjoy also the glorious liberty of men in smoking tobacco. We meet them with long cheroots, done up in plantain leaves, in their mouths, grinning from ear to ear. The people are fond of pleasure and amusement, of games and festivals, and laugh and make merry to-day, and think not of to-morrow. This natural and irrepressible gayety of spirit has given them the name of the Irish of the East. Like the Irish too, they are wretchedly improvident. Since they can live so easily, they are content to live poorly. It should be said, however, that up to a recent period they had no motive for saving. The least sign of wealth was a temptation to robbery on the part 298 of officials. Now that they have security under the English government, they can save, and some of the natives have grown rich.

This is one of the benefits of English rule, which make me rejoice whenever I see the English flag in any part of Asia. Wherever that flag flies, there is protection to property and life; there is law and order—the first condition of civilized society. Such a government has been a great blessing to Burmah, as to India. It is not necessary to raise the question how England came into possession here. It is the old story, that when a civilized and a barbarous power come in contact, they are apt to come into conflict. They cannot be quiet and peaceable neighbors. Mutual irritations end in war, and war ends in annexation. In this way, after two wars, England acquired her possessions in the Malayan Peninsula, and Lower Burmah became a part of the great Indian Empire. We cannot find fault with England for doing exactly what we should do in the same circumstances, what we have done repeatedly with the American Indians. Such collisions are almost inevitable. So far from regretting that England thus "absorbed" Burmah, I only regret that instead of taking half, she did not take the whole. For British Burmah is not the whole of Burmah; there is still a native kingdom on the Upper Irrawaddy, between British Burmah and China, with a capital, Mandelay, and a sovereign of most extraordinary character, who preserves in full force the notions of royalty peculiar to Asiatic countries. Recently a British envoy, Sir Douglas Forsyth, was sent to have some negotiations with him, but there was a difficulty about having an audience of his Majesty, owing to the peculiar etiquette of that court, according to which he was required to take off his boots, and get down on his knees, and approach the royal presence on all fours! I forget how the great question was compromised, but there is no doubt that the King of Burmah considers himself the greatest potentate 299 on earth. His capital is a wretched place. A Russian gentleman whom we met in Rangoon, had just come down from Mandelay, and he described it as the most miserable mass of habitations that ever assumed to be called a city. There were no roads, no carriages, no horses, only a few bullock carts. Yet the lord of this capital thinks it a great metropolis, and himself a great sovereign, and no one about him dares tell him to the contrary. He is an absolute despot, and has the power of life and death, which he exercises on any who excite his displeasure. He has but to speak a word or raise a hand, and the object of his wrath is led to execution. Suspicion makes him cruel, and death is sometimes inflicted by torture or crucifixion. Formerly bodies were often seen suspended to crosses along the river. Of course no one dares to provoke such a master by telling him the truth. Not long ago he sent a mission to Europe, and when his ambassadors returned, they reported to the King that "London and Paris were very respectable cities, but not to be compared to Mandelay!" This was repeated to me by the captain of the steamer which brought them back, who said one of them told him they did not dare to say anything else; that they would lose their heads if they should intimate to his majesty that there was on the earth a greater sovereign than himself.

But in spite of his absolute authority, this old King lives in constant terror, and keeps himself shut up in his palace, or within the walls of his garden, not daring to stir abroad for fear of assassination.

It requires a few hard knocks to get a little sense into such a thick head; and if in the course of human events the English were called to administer these, we should be sweetly submissive to the ordering of Providence.

But though so ignorant of the world, this old king is accounted a learned man among his people, and is quite religious after his fashion. Indeed he is reported to have said 300 to an English gentleman that "the English were a great people, but what a pity that they had no religion!" In his own faith he is very "orthodox." He will not have any "Dissenters" about him—not he. If any man has doubts, let him keep them to himself, lest the waters of the Irrawaddy roll over his unbelieving breast.

But in the course of nature this holy man will be gathered to his rest, and then his happy family may perhaps not live in such perfect harmony. He is now sixty-five years old, and has thirty sons, so that the question of succession is somewhat difficult, as there is no order of primogeniture. He has the right to choose an heir; and has been urged to do so by his English neighbors, to obviate all dispute to the succession. But he did this once and it raised a storm about his ears. The twenty-nine sons that were not chosen, with their respective mothers, raised such a din about his head that the poor man was nearly distracted, and was glad to revoke his decision, to keep peace in the family. He keeps his sons under strict surveillance lest they should assassinate him. But if he thus gets peace in his time, he leaves things in a state of glorious uncertainty after his death. Then there may be a household divided against itself. Perhaps they will fall out like the Kilkenny cats. If there should be a disputed succession, and a long and bloody civil war, it might be a duty for their strong neighbors, "in the interest of humanity," to step in and settle the dispute by taking the country for themselves. Who could regret an issue that should put an end to the horrible oppression and tyranny of the native government, with its cruel punishments, its tortures and crucifixions?

It would give the English the mastery of a magnificent country. The valley of the Irrawaddy is rich as the valley of the Nile, and only needs "law and order" for the wilderness to bud and blossom as the rose. Should the English take Upper Burmah, the great East Indian Empire would be 301 extended over the whole South of Asia, and up to the borders of China.

But the excellent Chief Commissioner has no dream of annexation, his only ambition being to govern justly the people entrusted to his care; to protect them in their rights; to put down violence and robbery, for the country has been in such a fearful state of disorganization, that the interior has been overrun with bands of robbers. Dacoity, as it is called, has been the terror of the country, as much as brigandage has been of Sicily. But the English are now putting it down with a strong hand. To develop the resources of the country, the Government seeks to promote internal communication and foreign commerce. At Rangoon the track is already laid for a railroad up the country to Prome. The seaports are improved and made safe for ships. With such facilities Burmah may have a large commerce, for which she has ample material. Her vast forests of teak would supply the demand of all Southern Asia; while the rice from the delta of the Irrawaddy may in the future, as in the past, feed the millions of India who might otherwise die from famine.

With the establishment of this civilized rule there opens a prospect for the future of Burmah, which shall be better than the old age of splendid tyranny. Says Mason: "The golden age when Pegu was the land of gold, and the Irrawaddy the river of gold, has passed away, and the country degenerated into the land of paddy (rice), and the stream into the river of teak. Yet its last days are its best days. If the gold has vanished, so has oppression; if the gems have fled, so have the taskmasters; if the palace of the Brama of Toungoo, who had twenty-six crowned heads at his command, is in ruins, the slave is free." The poor native has now some encouragement to cultivate his rice field, for its fruit will not be taken from him. The great want of the country is the same as that of the Western States of America—population. British Burmah has but three millions of 302 inhabitants, while, if the country were as thickly settled as Belgium and Holland, or as some parts of Asia, it might support thirty millions. Such a population cannot come at once, or in a century, but the country may look for a slow but steady growth from the overflow of India and China, that shall in time rebuild its waste places, and plant towns and cities along its rivers.

While thus interested in the political state of Burmah we cannot forget its religion. In coming from India to Farther India we have found not only a new race, but a new faith and worship. While Brahminism rules the great Southern Peninsula of Asia, Buddhism is the religion of Eastern Asia, numbering more adherents than any other religion on the globe. Of this new faith one may obtain some idea by a visit to the Great Pagoda. The Buddhists, like the priests of some other religions, choose lofty sites for their places of worship, which, as they overtop the earth, seem to raise them nearer to heaven. The Great Pagoda stands on a hill, or rocky ledge, which overlooks the city of Rangoon and the valley of the Irrawaddy. It is approached by a long flight of steps, which is occupied, like the approaches to the ancient temple in Jerusalem, by them that buy and sell, so that it is a kind of bazaar, and also by lepers and blind men, who stretch out their hands to ask for alms of those who mount the sacred hill to pray. Ascending to the summit, we find a plateau, on which there is an enclosure of perhaps an acre or two of ground. The Pagoda is a colossal structure, with a broad base like a pyramid, though round in shape, sloping upwards to a slender cone, which tapers at last to a sort of spire over three hundred feet high, and as the whole, from base to pinnacle, is covered with gold leaf, it presents a very dazzling appearance, when it reflects the rays of the sun. As a pagoda is always a solid mass of masonry, with no inner place of worship—not even a shrine, or a chamber like that in the heart of the Great Pyramid—there was more of fervor than of 303 fitness in the language of an English friend of missions, who prayed "that the pagodas might resound with the praises of God!" They might resound, but it must needs be on the outside. The tall spire has for its extreme point, what architects call a finial—a kind of umbrella, which the Burmese call a "htee," made of a series of iron rings gilded, from which hang many little silver and brass bells, which, swinging to and fro with every passing breeze, give forth a dripping musical sound. The Buddhist idea of prayer is not limited to human speech; it may be expressed by an offering of flowers, or the tinkling of a bell. It is at least a pretty fancy, which leads them to suspend on every point and pinnacle of their pagodas these tiny bells, whose soft, aërial chimes sound sweetly in the air, and floating upward, fill the ear of heaven with a constant melody. Besides the Great Pagoda, there are other smaller pagodas, one of which has lately been decorated with a magnificent "htee," presented by a rich timber merchant of Maulmain. It is said to have cost fifty thousand dollars, as we can well believe, since it is gemmed with diamonds and other precious stones. There was a great festival when it was set up in its place, which was kept up for several days, and is just over. At the same time he presented an elephant for the service of the temple, who, being thus consecrated, is of course a sacred beast. We met him taking his morning rounds, and very grand he was, with his crimson and gold trappings and howdah, and as he swung along with becoming gravity, he was a more dignified object than the worshippers around him. But the people were very good-natured, and we walked about in their holy places, and made our observations with the utmost freedom. In the enclosure are many pavilions, some of which are places for worship, and others rest-houses for the people. The idols are hideous objects, as all idols are, though perhaps better looking than those of the Hindoos. They represent Buddha in all positions, before whose image candles are kept burning. 304

In the grounds is an enormous bell, which is constantly struck by the worshippers, till its deep vibrations make the very air around holy with prayer. With my American curiosity to see the inside of everything, I crawled under it (it was hung but a few inches above the ground), and rose up within the hollow bronze, which had so long trembled with pious devotion. But at that moment it hung in silence, and I crawled back again, lest by some accident the enormous weight should fall and put an extinguisher on my further comparative study of religions. This bell serves another purpose in the worship of Buddhists. They strike upon it before saying their prayers, to attract the attention of the recording angel, so that they may get due credit for their act of piety. Those philosophical spirits who admire all religions but the Christian, will observe in this a beautiful economy in their devotions. They do not wish their prayers to be wasted. By getting due allowance for them, they not only keep their credit good, but have a balance in their favor. It is the same economy which leads them to attach prayers to water-wheels and windmills, by which the greatest amount of praying may be done with the least possible amount of labor or time. The one object of the Buddhist religion seems to be to attain merit, according to the amount of which they will spend more or less time in the realm of spirits before returning to this cold world, and on which depends also the form they will assume on their reincarnation. Among those who sit at the gate of the temple as we approach, are holy men, who, by a long course of devotion, have accumulated such a stock of merit that they have enough and to spare, and are willing to part with it for a consideration to others less fortunate than themselves. It is the old idea of works of supererogation over again, in which, as in many other things, they show the closest resemblance to Romanism.

But however puerile it may be in its forms of worship, yet as a religion Buddhism is an immeasurable advance on 305 Brahminism. In leaving India we have left behind Hindooism, and are grateful for the change, for Buddhism is altogether a more respectable religion. It has no bloody rites like those of the goddess Kali. It does not outrage decency nor morality. It has no obscene images nor obscene worship. It has no caste, with its bondage and its degradation. Indeed, the scholar who makes a study of different religions, will rank Buddhism among the best of those which are uninspired; if he does not find in its origin and in the life of its founder much that looks even like inspiration. There is no doubt that Buddha, or Gaudama, if such a man ever lived (of which there is perhaps no more reason to doubt than of any of the great characters of antiquity), began his career of a religious teacher, as a reformer of Brahminism, with the honest and noble purpose of elevating the faith, and purifying the lives of mankind. Mason, as a Christian missionary, certainly did not desire to exaggerate the virtues of another religion, and yet he writes of the origin of Buddhism:

"Three hundred years before Alexandria was founded; about the time that Thales, the most ancient philosopher of Europe, was teaching in Greece that water is the origin of all things, the soul of the world; and Zoroaster, in Media or Persia, was systematizing the fire-worship of the Magi; and Confucius in China was calling on the teeming multitudes around him to offer to guardian spirits and the names of their ancestors; and Nebuchadnezzar set up his golden image in the plains of Dura, and Daniel was laboring in Babylon to establish the worship of the true God; a reverend sage, with his staff and scrip, who had left a throne for philosophy, was travelling from Gaya to Benares, and from Benares to Kanouj, exhorting the people against theft, falsehood, adultery, killing and intemperance. No temperance lecturer advocates teetotalism now more strongly than did this sage Gaudama twenty-three centuries ago. Nor did he confine his instructions to external vices. Pride, anger, lust, envy and covetousness were condemned by him in as strong terms as are ever heard from the Christian pulpit. Love, mercy, patience, self-denial, alms-giving, truth, and the cultivation of wisdom, he required of all. Good actions, good words, and good thoughts were 306 the frequent subjects of his sermons, and he was unceasing in his cautions to keep the mind free from the turmoils of passion, and the cares of life. Immediately after the death of this venerable peripatetic, his disciples scattered themselves abroad to propagate the doctrines of their master, and tradition says, one party entered the principal mouth of the Irrawaddy, where they traced its banks to where the first rocks lift themselves abruptly above the flats around. Here, on the summit of this laterite ledge, one hundred and sixty feet above the river, they erected the standard of Buddhism, which now lifts its spire to the heavens higher than the dome of St. Paul's."

In its practical effects Buddhism is favorable to virtue; and its adherents, so far as they follow it, are a quiet and inoffensive people. They are a kind of Quakers, who follow an inward light, and whose whole philosophy of life is one of repression of natural desires. Their creed is a mixture of mysticism and stoicism, which by gentle meditation subdues the mind to "a calm and heavenly frame," a placid indifference to good or ill, to joy or sorrow, to pleasure and pain. It teaches that by subduing the desires—pride, envy, and ambition—one brings himself into a state of tranquillity, in which there is neither hope nor fear. It is easy to see where such a creed is defective; that it does not bring out the heroic virtues, as shown in active devotion to others' good. This active philanthropy is born of Christianity. There is a spiritual selfishness in dreaming life away in this idle meditation. But so far as others are concerned, it bids no man wrong his neighbor.

Buddha's table of the law may be compared with that of Moses. Instead of Ten Commandments, it has only Five, which correspond very nearly to the latter half of the Decalogue. Indeed three of them are precisely the same, viz.: Do not kill; Do not steal; and Do not commit adultery; and the fourth, Do not lie, includes, as a broader statement, the Mosaic command not to bear false witness against one's neighbor; but the last one of all, instead of being "not to 307 covet," is, Do not become intoxicated. These commands are all prohibitions, and enforce only the negative side of virtue. They forbid injury to property and life and reputation, and thus every injury to one's neighbor, and the last of all forbids injury to one's self, while they do not urge active benevolence to man nor piety towards God.

These Five Commandments are the rule of life for all men. But to those who aspire to a more purely religious life, there are other and stricter rules. They are required to renounce the world, to live apart, and practice rigid austerities, in order to bring the body into subjection. Every day is to be one of abstinence and self-denial. To them are given five other commands, in addition to those prescribed to mankind generally. They must take no solid food after noon (a fast not only Friday, but every day of the week); they must not visit dances, singing or theatrical representations; must use no ornaments or perfumery in dress; must not sleep in luxurious beds, and while living by alms, accept neither gold nor silver. By this rigid self-discipline, they are expected to be able to subdue their appetites and passions and overcome the world.

This monastic system is one point of resemblance between Buddhism and Romanism. Both have orders of monks and nuns, who take vows of celibacy and poverty, and live in convents and monasteries. There is also a close resemblance in their forms of worship. Both have their holy shrines, and use images and altars, before which flowers are placed, and lamps are always burning. Both chant and pray in an unknown tongue.[10]


This resemblance of the Buddhist creed and worship to their own, the Jesuit missionaries have been quick to see, and with their usual artfulness have tried to use it as an 309 argument to smooth the way for the conversion of the Asiatics by representing the change as a slight one. But the Buddhist, not to be outdone in quickness, answers that the difference is so slight that it is not worth making the change. The only difference, they say, is "we worship a man and you worship a woman!"

But Christianity has had other representatives in Burmah than the Jesuits. At an early day American missionaries, as if they could not go far enough away from home, in their zeal to carry the Gospel where it had not been preached before, sought a field of labor in Southeastern Asia. More than sixty years ago they landed on these shores. They planted no colonies, waged no wars, raised no flag, and made no annexation. The only flag they carried over them was that of the Gospel of peace. And yet in the work they wrought they have left a memorial which will long preserve their sainted and heroic names. While in Rangoon I took up again "The Life of Judson" by Dr. Wayland, and read it with new interest on the very spot which had been the scene of his labors. Nothing in the whole history of missions is more thrilling than the story of his imprisonment. It was during the second Burmese war. He was at that time at Ava, the capital of Burmah, where he had been in favor till now, when the king, enraged at the English, seized all that he could lay hands upon, and threw them into prison. He could not distinguish an American, who had the same features and spoke the same language, and so Judson shared the fate of the rest. One day his house was entered by an officer and eight or ten men, one of whom he recognized by his hideous tattooed face as the executioner, who seized him in the midst of his family, threw him on the floor, drew out the instrument of torture, the small cord, with which he bound him, and hurried him to the death prison, where he was chained, as were the other foreigners, each with three pairs of fetters to a pole. He expected nothing but death, 310 but the imprisonment dragged on for months, varied with every device of horror and of cruelty. Often he was chained to the vilest malefactors. Sometimes he was cast into an inner prison, which was like the Black Hole of Calcutta, where his limbs were confined with five pairs of fetters. So loathsome was his prison, that he counted it the greatest favor and indulgence, when, after a fever, he was allowed to sleep in the cage of a dead lion! This lasted nearly two years. Several times his keepers had orders (as they confessed afterward) to assassinate him, but, restrained perhaps by pity for his wife, they withheld their hand, thinking that disease would soon do the work for them.

During all that long and dreadful time his wife watched over him with never-failing devotion. She could not sleep in the prison, but every day she dragged herself two miles through the crowded city, carrying food for her husband and the other English prisoners. During that period a child was born, whose first sight of its father was within prison walls. Some time after even his heathen jailors took pity on him, and allowed him to take a little air in the street outside of the prison gate. And history does not present a more touching scene than that of this man, when his wife was ill, carrying his babe through the streets from door to door, asking Burman mothers, in the sacred name of maternity, of that instinct of motherhood which is universal throughout the world, to give nourishment to this poor, emaciated, and dying child.

But at length a day of deliverance came. The English army had taken Rangoon and was advancing up the Irrawaddy. Then all was terror at Ava, and the tyrant that had thrown Judson into a dungeon, sent to bring him out and to beg him to go to the English camp to be his interpreter, and to sue for terms of peace. He went and was received with the honor due to his character and his sufferings. But the heroine of the camp was that noble American woman, 311 whose devotion had saved, not only the life of her husband, but the lives of all the English prisoners. The commander-in-chief received her as if she had been an empress, and at a great dinner given to the Burmese ambassadors placed her at his right hand, in the presence of the very men to whom she had often been to beg for mercy, and had been often driven brutally from their doors. The tables were turned, and they were the ones to ask for mercy now. They sat uneasy, giving restless glances at the missionary's wife, as if fearing lest a sudden burst of womanly indignation should impel her to demand the punishment of those who had treated her with such cruelty. But they were quite safe. She would not touch a hair of their heads. Too happy in the release of the one she loved, her heart was overflowing with gratitude, and she felt no desire but to live among this people, and to do good to those from whom she had suffered so much. They removed to Amherst, at the mouth of the Maulmain River, and had built a pretty home, and were beginning to realize their dream of missionary life, when she was taken ill, and, broken by her former hardships, soon sank in death.

Probably "The Life of Judson" has interested American Christians in Burmah more than all the histories and geographical descriptions put together. General histories have never the interest of a personal narrative, and the picture of Judson in a dungeon, wearing manacles on his limbs, exposed to death in its most terrible forms, to be tortured or to be crucified, and finally saved by the devotion of his wife, has touched the hearts of the American people more than all the learned histories of Eastern Asia that ever were written.

And when I stood at a humble grave on Amherst Point, looking out upon the sea, and read upon the stone the name of Ann Hasseltine Judson, and thought of that gentle American wife, coming out from the peace and protection of her New England home to face such dangers, I felt that I had never bent over the dust of one more worthy of all the 312 honors of womanhood and sainthood; tender and shrinking, but whom love made strong and brave; who walked among coarse and brutal men, armed only with her own native modesty and dignity: who by the sick-bed or in a prison cast light in a dark place by her sweet presence; and who united all that is noble in woman's love and courage and devotion.

Judson survived this first wife about a quarter of a century—a period full of labor, and in its later years, full of precious fruit. That was the golden autumn of his life. He that had gone forth weeping, bearing precious seed, came again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. I wish the Church in America could see what has been achieved by that well-spent life. Most of his fellow-laborers have gone to their rest, though Mr. and Mrs. Bennett at Rangoon, and Dr. and Mrs. Haswell at Maulmain, still live to tell of the trials and struggles of those early days.[11] And now appears the fruit of all those toilsome years. The mission that was weak has grown strong. In Rangoon there are a number of missionaries, who have not only established churches and Christian schools, but founded a College and a Theological Seminary. They have a Printing Press, under the charge of the veteran Mr. Bennett, who has been here forty-six years. In the interior are churches in great numbers. The early missionaries found a poor people—a sort of lower caste among the Burmese—the Karens. It may almost be said that they caught them in the woods and tamed them. They first reduced their language to writing; they gave them books and schools, and to-day there are twenty thousand of this people who are members of their churches. In the interior there are many Christian villages, with native churches and native pastors, supported by the people themselves, whose deep poverty abounds to their liberality in a way that recalls Apostolic times.


The field which has been the scene of such toils and sacrifices properly belongs to the denomination which has given such examples of Christian devotion. The Baptists were the first to enter the country, led by an apostle. The Mission in Burmah is the glory of the Baptist Church, as that of the Sandwich Islands is of the American Board. They have a sort of right to the land by reason of first occupancy—a right made sacred by these early and heroic memories; and I trust will be respected by other Christian bodies in the exercise of that comity which ought to exist between Churches as between States, in the possession of a field which they have cultivated with so much zeal, wisdom, and success.

It is not till one leaves Rangoon that he sees the beauty of Burmah. The banks of the Irrawaddy, like those of the Hoogly, are low and jungly; but as we glide from the river into the sea, and turn southward, the shores begin to rise, till after a few hours' sail we might be on the coast of Wales or of Scotland. The next morning found us at anchor off the mouth of the Salwen River. The steamers of the British India Company stop at all the principal ports, and we were now to pass up the river to Maulmain. But the Malda was too large to cross the bar except at very high tide, for which we should have to wait over a day. The prospect of resting here under a tropical sun, and in full sight of the shore, was not inviting, and we looked about for some way of escape. Fortunately we had on board Miss Haswell, of the well-known missionary family, who had gone up from Maulmain to Rangoon to see some friends off for America, and was now returning. With such an interpreter and guide, we determined to go on shore, and hailing a pilot-boat, went down the ship's ladder, and jumped on board. The captain thought us very rash, as the sea was rough, and the boat rose and plunged in waves; but the Malays are like seagulls on the water, and raising their sail, made of bamboo poles, 314 and rush matting, we flew before the wind, and were soon landed at Amherst Point. This was holy ground, for here Judson had lived, and here his wife died and was buried. Her grave is on the sea-shore, but a few rods from the water, and we went straight to it. It is a low mound, with a plain headstone, around which an American sea captain had placed a wooden paling to guard the sacred spot. There she sleeps, with only the murmur of the waves, as they come rippling up the beach, to sing her requiem. But her name will not die, and in all the world, where love and heroism are remembered, what this woman hath done shall be told for a memorial of her. Her husband is not here, for (as the readers of his life will remember) his last years were spent at Maulmain, from which he was taken, when very ill, on board a vessel, bound for the Mauritius, in hope that a voyage might save him when all other means had failed, and died at sea when but four days out, and was committed to the deep in the Bay of Bengal. One cannot but regret that he did not die on land, that he might have been buried beside his wife in the soil of Burmah; but it is something that he is not far away, and the waters that roll over him kiss its beloved shores.

Miss Haswell led the way up the beach to the little house which Judson had built. It was unoccupied, but there was an old bedstead on which the apostle had slept, and I stretched myself upon it, feeling that I caught as much inspiration lying there as when I lay down in the sarcophagus of Cheops in the heart of the Great Pyramid. We found a rude table too, which we drew out upon the veranda, and a family of native Christians brought us rice and milk and eggs, with which we made a breakfast in native style. The family of Miss Haswell once occupied this mission house, and it was quite enlivening to hear, as we sat there quietly taking our rice and milk, how the tigers used to come around and make themselves at home, snuffing about the doors, and carrying off dogs from the veranda, and killing a buffalo in 315 the front yard. They are not quite so familiar now along the coast, but in the interior one can hardly go through a forest without coming on their tracks. Only last year Miss Haswell, on her way to attend the meeting of an association, camped in the woods. She found the men were getting sleepy, and neglected the fire, and so she kept awake, and sat up to throw on the wood. It was well, for in the night suddenly all the cattle sprang up with every sign of terror, and there came on the air that strong smell which none who have perceived it can mistake, which shows that a tiger is near. Doubtless he was peering at them through the covert, and nothing but the blazing fire kept him away.

After our repast, we took a ride in native style. A pair of oxen was brought to the door, with a cart turned up at both ends, in such a manner that those riding in it were dumped into a heap; and thus well shaken together, we rode down to the shore, where we had engaged a boat to take us up the river. It was a long slender skiff, which, with its covering of bamboo bent over it, was in shape not unlike a gondola of Venice. The arch of its roof was of course not very lofty; we could not stand up, but we could sit or lie down, and here we stretched ourselves in glorious ease, and as a pleasant breeze came in from the sea, our little bark moved swiftly before it. The captain of our boat was a venerable-looking native, like some of the Arabs we saw on the Nile, with two boatmen for his "crew," stout fellows, whose brawny limbs were not confined by excess of clothing. In fact, they had on only a single garment, a kind of French blouse, which, by way of variety, they took off and washed in the river as we sailed along. However, they had another clout for a change, which they drew over them with great dexterity before they took off the first, so as not to offend us. Altogether the scene was not unlike what some of my readers may have witnessed on one of our Southern rivers; and 316 if we could only have had the rich voices of the negro boatmen, singing

"Down on the Alabama,"

the illusion would have been complete. Thus in a dreamy mood, and with a gentle motion, we glided up the beautiful Salwen, between low banks covered with forests, a distance of thirty miles, till at five o'clock we reached the lower end of Maulmain, and went ashore, and rode two or three miles up the river to Dr. Haswell's, where Miss H. claimed C—— for her guest, while I was entertained at her brother's in the old missionary compound, where Dr. Judson lived for so many years, and which he left only to die. These American friends, with their kind hospitalities, made us feel quite at home in Burmah; and as if to bring still nearer Christian England and America, we were taken the same evening to a prayer-meeting at the house of an English officer who is in command here, where they sang Sankey's hymns!

Maulmain is a place of great natural beauty. Though on the river, it rises from the water's edge in steep and wooded banks, and has a background of hills. One can hardly find a lovelier view in all the East than that from the hill behind it, on which stands an old Buddhist monastery and pagoda. Here the eye ranges over a distance of many miles. Several rivers which flow together give the country the appearance of being covered with water, out of which rise many elevated points, like islands in a sea. In clear weather, after the rains, one may see on the horizon the distant peaks of the mountains in Siam. This was a favorite resort of Dr. Judson, who, being a man of great physical as well as intellectual vigor, was fond of walking, and loved to climb the hills. Miss Haswell, who as a child remembered him, told us how she once saw him here "playing tag" with his wife, chasing her as she ran down the hill. This picture of the old man delighted me—to think that not all his labors and 317 sufferings could subdue that unconquerable spirit, but that he retained even to old age the freshness of a boy, and was as hearty in play as in preaching. This is the sort of muscular Christians that are needed to face the hardships of a missionary life—men who will not faint in the heat of the tropics, nor falter at the prospect of imprisonment or death.

While we stood here the Buddhist monks were climbing slowly up the hill, and I could but think of the difference between our intrepid missionary and these languid, not to say lazy, devotees. We had a good chance to observe them, and to remark their resemblance to similar orders in the Church of Rome. The Buddhist monk, like his Romish brother, shaves his head, eats no animal food (the command of Buddha not to kill, is interpreted not to take life of any kind), and lives only by the alms of the faithful. Seeing them here, with their shaven heads and long robes, going about the streets, stopping before the doors to receive their daily tributes of rice, one is constantly reminded of the mendicant friars of Italy. They live in monasteries, which are generally situated, like this, on the tops of hills, retired from the world, where they keep together for mutual instruction, and to join in devotion. They do no work except to cultivate the grounds of the temple, but give up their lives to meditation and to prayer.

It would be wrong to speak of such men but with proper respect. They are quiet and inoffensive; some of them are learned; still more are serious and devout. Says Dr. Williams: "Their largest monasteries contain extensive libraries, and a portion of the fraternity are well acquainted with letters, though numbers of them are ignorant even of their own books." "Their moral character, as a class, is on a par with their countrymen, and many of them are respectable, intelligent, and sober-minded persons, who seem to be sincerely desirous of making themselves better, if possible, by their religious observances." 318

But this life of a recluse, while favorable to study and meditation, does not inspire active exertion. Indeed the whole Buddhist philosophy of life seems to be comprised in this, that man should dream away existence here on earth, and then lapse into a dreamy eternity.

"To be or not to be, that's the question;"

and for them it seems better "not to be." Their heaven—their Nirvana—is annihilation, yet not absolute non-existence, but only absorption of their personality, so that their separate being is swallowed up and lost in God. They will still be conscious, but have no hope and no fear, no dread and no desire, but only survey existence with the ineffable calm of the Infinite One. This passive, emotionless state is expressed in all the statues and images of Buddha.

If that be heaven, it is not earth; and they who pass life in a dream are not the men to revolutionize the world. This whole monastery, full of monks, praying and chanting for generations, cannot so stir the mind of Asia, or make its power felt even in Burmah, as one heroic man like Judson.

Miss Haswell belongs to a family of missionaries. Her father and mother were companions of Judson, and the children are in one way and another devoted to the same work. She has a school for girls, which is said to be the best in Burmah. The Chief Commissioner at Rangoon spoke of it in the highest terms, and makes special mention of it in his Report. She told us with great modesty, and almost with a feeling of shame, of the struggle and mortification with which she had literally "begged" the money for it in America. But never did good seed scattered on the waters bear richer fruit. If a deputation from all the Baptist churches which contributed to that school could but pay it a visit, and see what it is doing, it would never want for funds hereafter.

Burmah is a country which needs all good influences—moral 319 and religious. It needs also a strong government, just laws rigidly enforced, to keep peace and order in the land. For though the people are so gay and merry, there is a fearful degree of crime. In Maulmain there is a prison, which holds over a thousand prisoners, many of whom have been guilty of the worst crimes. A few days since there was an outbreak, and an attempt to escape. A number got out of the gate, and were running till they were brought up by shots from the military. Seven were killed and seven wounded. I went through this prison one morning with the physician as he made his rounds. As we entered a man was brought up who had been guilty of some insubordination. He had once attempted to kill the jailer. The Doctor inquired briefly into the offence, and said, without further words: "Give him fifteen cuts." Instantly the man was seized and tied, arms extended, and legs fastened, so that he could not move, and his back uncovered, and an attendant standing off, so that he could give his arm full swing, gave him fifteen cuts that made the flesh start up like whip-cord, and the blood run. The man writhed with agony, but did not scream. I suppose such severity is necessary, but it was a very painful sight. In the hospital we found some of the prisoners who had been concerned in the mutiny. The ringleader had been shot in the leg, which had been amputated. They had found that the ways of transgressors were hard.

Continuing our walk, we went through the different workshops, and saw the kinds of labor to which the men were put, such as making chairs of bamboo, weaving cloth, beating cocoanut husks to make stuff for mattresses, carving, making furniture, blacksmithing, &c. The worst offenders were put to grinding corn, as that was a species of labor in which they had no tools which could be used as deadly weapons. The men in this ward—perhaps a hundred in number—were desperate characters. They were almost all highway robbers, Dacoits, bands of whom have long been the terror of the 320 country. They all had irons on their ankles, and stood up to their tasks, working with their hands. I was not sorry to see "their feet made fast in the stocks," for in looking into their savage faces, one could but feel that he would rather see them in chains and behind iron bars, than meet them alone in a forest.

But I turn to a more agreeable spectacle. It is sometimes more pleasant to look at animals than at men, certainly when men make beasts of themselves, and when, on the other hand, animals show an intelligence almost human. One of the great industries of Burmah is the timber trade. The teak wood, which is the chief timber cut and shipped, is very heavy, and requires prodigious force to handle it; and as the Burmese are not far enough advanced to use machinery for the purpose, they employ elephants, and bravely do the noble beasts perform their task. In the timber yards both at Rangoon and at Maulmain, all the heavy work of drawing and piling the logs is done by them. I have never seen any animals showing such intelligence, and trained to such docility and obedience. In the yard that we visited there were seven elephants, five of which were at that moment at work. Their wonderful strength came into play in moving huge pieces of timber. I did not measure the logs, but should think that many were at least twenty feet long and a foot square. Yet a male elephant would stoop down, and run his tusks under a log, and throw his trunk over it, and walk off with it as lightly as a gentleman would balance his bamboo cane on the tip of his finger. Placing it on the pile, he would measure it with his eye, and if it projected too far at either end, would walk up to it, and with a gentle push or pull, make the pile even. If a still heavier log needed to be moved on the ground to some part of the yard, the mahout, sitting on the elephant's head, would tell him what to do, and the great creature seemed to have a perfect understanding of his master's will. He would put out his enormous foot, and 321 push it along; or he would bend his head, and crouching half way to the ground, and doubling up his trunk in front, throw his whole weight against it, and thus, like a ram, would "butt" the log into its place; or if it needed to be taken a greater distance, he would put a chain around it, and drag it off behind him. The female elephant especially was employed in drawing, as having no tusks, she could not lift like her big brothers, but could only move by her power of traction or attraction. Then using her trunk as deftly as a lady would use her fingers, she would untie the knot or unhitch the chain, and return to her master, perhaps putting out her trunk to receive a banana as a reward for her good conduct. It was a very pretty sight, and gave us a new idea of the value of these noble creatures, and of the way in which they can be trained for the service of man, since they can be not only made subject to his will, but taught to understand it, thus showing equal intelligence and docility.

After a day or two thus pleasantly passed, we went on board the Malda (which had finally got over the bar and come up to Maulmain), and dropped down the river, and were soon sailing along the coast, which grows more beautiful as we steam southward. We pass a great number of islands, which form the Mergui Archipelago, and just now might be off the shores of Greece. Within these sheltered waters is Tavoy, from which it is proposed to build a road over the mountains to Bangkok in Siam. There has long been a path through the dense forest, but one that could only be traversed by elephants. Now it is proposed to have a good road, the expense to be borne by the two kingdoms. Is not this a sign of progress, of an era of peace and good will? Formerly Burmah and Siam were always at war. Being neighbors and rivals, they were "natural enemies," as much as were France and England. But now the strong English hand imposes peace, and the two countries seek a closer connection. The road thus inaugurated will bind them together, 322 and prove not only an avenue of commerce but a highway of civilization.

At Penang we enter the Straits of Malacca, on one side of which is the Malayan Peninsula, and on the other the island of Sumatra, which is larger than all Great Britain, and where just now, at this upper end, the Dutch have a war on their hands. Penang is opposite Acheen, and the Malays, who are engaged in such a desperate resistance to the Dutch, often cross the Straits, and may be seen at any time in the streets of the English settlement. Perhaps it is but natural that the English should have a sympathy with these natives, who are defending their country against invaders, though I do not perceive that this makes them more ready to yield the ground on their own side of the Straits, where just now, at Perak, they have a little war of their own. To this war in Acheen I may refer again, when I come to write of the Dutch power in Java.

Bayard Taylor celebrates Penang as "the most beautiful island in the world," which is a great deal for one to say who has travelled so far and seen so much. I could not be quite so enthusiastic, and yet I do not wonder at any degree of rapture in one who climbs the Peak of Penang, which commands a view not only of the town and harbor below, but of other islands and waters, as well as of mountains and valleys in the interior, which are a part of Siam. Turning seaward, and looking down, this little island of Penang appears as the gem of the scene—a mass of the richest tropical vegetation, set in the midst of tropical seas.

We were now in the tropics indeed. We had been for weeks, but we had a more "realizing sense" of it as we got into the lower latitudes. The heat grew intense as we approached the Equator. One after another we laid aside the garments of the colder North, and put on the lightest and thinnest costume, till we did not know but our only relief would be that suggested by Sydney Smith, "to take off our 323 flesh and sit in our bones." With double awnings spread over the deck, and the motion of the ship stirring the air, still the vertical sun was quite overpowering. We were obliged to keep on deck day and night, although there was ample room below. As there were but eight passengers in the cabin, each had a state-room; but with all this space, and portholes wide open, still it was impossible to keep cool. An iron ship becomes so heated that the state-rooms are like ovens. So we had to take refuge on deck. Every evening the servants appeared, bringing our mattresses, which were spread on the skylight above the cabin. This was very well for the gentlemen of our company, but offered no relief of coolness for our only lady passenger. But a couple of gallant young Englishmen, who with us were making the tour of the world, were determined that she should not be imprisoned below, and they set up on deck a screen, in which she was enclosed as in a tent; and not Cleopatra, when floating in her gilded barge, reclined more royally than she, thus lifted up into the cool night air. Then we all had our reward. The glory of the night made up for the fervors of the day. From our pillows we looked out upon the sea, and as the hot day brought thunderstorms, the lightning playing on the distant horizon lighted up the watery leagues around, till it seemed as if we were

"Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on the wide, wide sea,"

floating on in darkness over an unfathomable abyss. At other times the sea was luminous with the light which she carries in her own bosom. These Southern seas are full of those marine insects which shine like glow-worms in the dark; and when the waters were calm and still, when there was not a ripple on the bosom of the deep, we leaned over the stern of the ship to watch the long track of light which she left in the phosphorescent sea. But brighter than this 324 watery illumination was the sky above, which was all aglow with celestial fires. We had long become familiar with the Southern Cross, which we first saw in Egypt on the Nile, near the First Cataract. But then it was just above the horizon. Now it shone in mid-heaven, while around it were gathered the constellations of the Southern hemisphere. I have seen the stars on the desert and on the sea, but never anything before that quite equalled these nights on the Equator.

But our voyage was coming to an end. We had already been twice as long on the Bay of Bengal as in crossing the Atlantic. It was the last day of March when the captain of the ship came to me, as I was standing on deck, and said: "Do you see that low point of land, with the trees upon it, coming down to the water? That is the most Southern point of Asia." That great continent, which we saw first at Constantinople, and had followed so far around the globe, ended here. An hour afterward, as we rounded into Singapore, a hand pointed Eastward, and a voice at my side said: "Uncle, there's the Pacific!" She who spoke might perhaps have said rather, "There are the China Seas," but they are a part of the great Ocean which rolls its waters from Asia to America.

Singapore is on an island, at the very end of the peninsula, so that it may be called truly "the jumping-off place." On this point of land, but a degree and a half from the Equator, England has planted one of those colonies by which she keeps guard along the coasts, and over the waters, of Southern Asia. The town, which has a population of nearly a hundred thousand, is almost wholly Chinese, but it is the English power which is seen in the harbor filled with ships, and the fort mounted with guns; and English taste which has laid out the streets and squares, and erected the public buildings. This might be called the Island of Palms, which grow here in great profusion—the tall cocoanut palm with 325 its slender stem, the fan palm with its broad leaves, and many other varieties which mantle the hillsides, forming a rich background for the European bungalows that peer out from under a mass of tropical foliage.

Whoever goes around the world must needs pass by Singapore. It is the one inevitable point in Asia, as San Francisco is in America. One is sure to meet here travellers, mostly English and American, passing to and fro, from India to China, or from China to India, making the Grand Tour. So common are they that they cease to inspire as much awe as Marco Polo or Capt. Cook, and have even received the nickname of "globe-trotters," and are looked upon as quite ordinary individuals. Singapore is a good resting-point for Americans—a convenient half-way house—as it is almost exactly on the other side of the globe from New York. Having "trotted" thus far, we may be allowed to rest, at least over Sunday, before we take a new start, and sail away into the Southern hemisphere.




Most travellers who touch at Singapore sweep round that point like a race-horse, eager to be on the "home stretch." But in turning north, they turn away from a beauty of which they do not dream. They know not what islands, embowered in foliage, lie in those Southern seas—what visions would reward them if they would but "those realms explore." The Malayan Peninsula is a connecting link between two great divisions of the globe; it is a bridge hundreds of miles long—a real Giants' Causeway, reaching out from the mainland of Asia towards the Island World beyond—a world with an interest all its own, which, now that we were so near, attracted us to its shores. Leaving our fellow-travellers to go on to Siam or to China, we took the steamer of the Netherlands India Company for Java. It was a little boat of but 250 tons, but it shot away like an arrow, and was soon flying like a sea-bird among islands covered with palm groves. On our right was the long coast of Sumatra. Towards evening we entered the Straits of Rhio, and in the night crossed the Equator. When as a child I turned over the globe, I found this line indicated by a brass ring, and rather expected that the ship would get a thump as she passed over it; but she crossed without a shock, or even a jar; ocean melted into ocean; the waters of the China and the Java seas flowed together, and we were in the Southern hemisphere.

The first thing on board which struck us strangely was that we had lost our language. The steamer was Dutch, and the 327 officers spoke only Dutch. But on all these waters will be found passing to and fro gentlemen of intelligence, holding official positions here, but who have lived long in Europe, and who speak English or French. At Rhio we were joined by the Resident, the highest official of that island, and by the Inspector of Schools from Batavia; and the next day, as we entered the Straits of Banca, by the Resident of Palembang in Sumatra—all of whom were very polite to us as strangers. We saw them again in Java, and when we parted, felt almost that they were not only acquaintances, but friends. They were of course thoroughly informed about the new world around us, and were ready to enlighten our ignorance. We sat on deck at evening, and as they puffed their cigars with the tranquillity of true Dutchmen, we listened to their discourse about the islands and people of the Malayan Archipelago.

This part of the world would delight Mr. Darwin by the strange races it contains, some of which approach the animal tribes. In the island of Rhio the Resident assured me there were wild men who lived in trees, and had no language but cries; and in Sumatra the Resident of Palembang said there were men who lived in the forests, with whom not only the Europeans, but even the Malays, could have no intercourse. He himself had never seen one. Yet, strange to say, they have a petty traffic with the outer world, yet not through the medium of speech. They live in the woods, and live by the chase. They hunt tigers, not with the gun, but with a weapon called a sumpitan, which is a long tube, out of which they blow arrows with such force, and that are so keen of point, and touched with such deadly poison, that a wound is almost immediately fatal. These tiger skins or elephant tusks they bring for barter—not for sale—they never sell anything, for money is about the most useless thing they could have; they cannot eat it, or drink it, or wear it. But as they have wants, they exchange; yet they themselves are 328 never seen. They bring what they have to the edge of the forest, and leave it there, and the Malays come and place what they have to dispose of, and retire. If the offer is satisfactory, when the Malays return they find what they brought gone, and take what is left and depart. If not, they add a few trifles more to tempt the eyes of these wild men of the woods, and so at last the exchange is effected, yet all the while the sellers keep themselves invisible. This mode of barter argues great honesty on both sides.

This island of Sumatra is a world in itself. The Resident of Palembang has under him a country as large as the whole of Java. The people of Palembang are Malays and Chinese, thousands of whom live on rafts. In the interior of the island there are different races, speaking a dozen different languages or dialects. But with all its population, the greater part of the country is still given up to forest and jungle, the home of wild beasts—of the tiger and the rhinoceros. Wild elephants range the forests in great numbers. He had often seen them in herds of two or three hundred. It seemed strange that they were not tamed, as in India and Burmah. But such is not the habit of the people, who hunt them for ivory, but never attempt to subdue them, or use them as beasts of burden. Hence they become a great nuisance, as they come about the villages and break into the plantations; and it is only when a grand hunt is organized for their destruction, that a neighborhood can be for a time rid of the pest.

But if these are uncomfortable neighbors, there are others that are more so—the reptiles, which abound here as in India. But familiarity breeds contempt or indifference. The people are not afraid of them, and hardly notice them, but speak of them in an easy sort of way, as if they were the most harmless things in nature—poor innocent creatures, which might almost be pets in the family, and allowed to run about the house at their will. Soberly, there are certain domestic 329 snakes which are indulged with these liberties. Said Mr. K.: "I was once visiting in Sumatra, and spending a night at the house of a friend. I heard a noise overhead, and asked, 'What is that?' 'Oh, nothing,' they said; 'it's only the serpent.' 'What! do you keep a family snake?' 'Yes,' they said; it was a large black snake which frequented the house, and as it did no mischief, and hunted the rats, they let it roam about wherever it liked." Thinking this rather a big story, with which our friend might practise on the credulity of a stranger, I turned to the Resident of Palembang, who confirmed it. He said this domestication of serpents was not uncommon. There was a kind of boa that was very useful as an exterminator of rats, and for this purpose the good Dutch housekeepers allowed it to crawl about or to lie coiled up in the pantry. Sometimes this interesting member of the family was stretched out on the veranda to bask in the sun—a pleasant object to any stranger who might be invited to accept hospitality. I think I should have an engagement elsewhere, however pressing the invitation. I never could "abide" snakes. From the Old Serpent down, they have been my aversion, and I beg to decline their company, though they should be as insinuating as the one that tempted Eve. But an English merchant in Java afterwards assured me that "snakes were the best gardeners; that they devoured the worms and insects and small animals; and that for his part, he was rather pleased than otherwise when he saw a big boa crawling among the vines or in the rice-fields." I thought that the first instance of a serpent's gardening was in Paradise, the effect of which was not encouraging, but there is no disputing about tastes. He said they frequently came around the houses, but did not often enter them, except that they were very fond of music (the dear creatures!); and sometimes in the evening, as doors and windows were left open for coolness, if the music was very fine, a head might be thrust in of a guest that had not been invited. 330

But our conversation was not limited to this harrowing topic, but ranged over many features of Sumatra—its scenery and climate, soil and vegetation. It is indeed a magnificent island. Over a thousand miles long, and with more square miles than Great Britain and Ireland together, it is large enough for a kingdom. In some parts the scenery is as grand as that of Switzerland. Along the western coast is a range of mountains like the Alps (some peaks are 15,000 feet high), among which is set many an Alpine valley, with its glistening lake. That coast is indented with bays, on one of which is the Dutch capital, Padang. East of the mountains the island spreads out into vast plains, watered by noble rivers. The soil is very rich, yielding all the fruits of the tropics in great abundance. The tobacco especially is of a much finer quality than that of Java, and brings twice as much in the market. This fertility will attract population both from Asia and from Europe, and under a good government this island may yet be the seat of an empire worthy of its greatness.

But just now the Dutch have a task to bring it into subjection. They have an enemy in the North harder to subdue than tigers and wild elephants. These are the terrible Malays, against whom has been kept up for years the war in Acheen—a war waged with such deadly and unrelenting hate and fury, that it has taken on a character of ferocity. Of the right or wrong of this savage contest, I cannot judge, for I hear only one side of the story. I am told that the Malays are a race of pirates, with whom it is impossible to live in good neighborhood, and that there can be no peace till they are subdued. At the same time, one cannot refuse a degree of sympathy even to savages who defend their own country, and who fight with such conspicuous bravery. To this all the Dutch officers bore testimony, saying that they fought "like devils." The Malays are very much like our American Indians, both in features and in character—a 331 proud, high-spirited race, capable of any act of courage or devotion, but full of that hot blood that resents an insult. "If you have a Malay servant," I heard often in the East, "you may scold him or send him away, but never strike him, for that is an indignity which he feels more than a wound; which he never forgets or forgives; but which, if he has an opportunity, he will avenge with blood." Such a people, when they come into battle, sacrifice their lives without a moment's hesitation. They have a great advantage, as they are in their own territory, and can choose their own time and place of attack, or keep out of the way, leaving the enemy to be worn out by the hot climate and by disease. Of course if the Dutch could once bring them within range of their guns, or entice them into a pitched battle, European skill and discipline would be victorious. But the Malays are too wary and active; they hide in the fastnesses of the hills, and start up here and there in unexpected quarters, and after a sudden dash, fly to the mountains. They have a powerful ally in the pestilential climate, which brings on those deadly fevers that kill more than perish in battle. Such a war may drag on for years, during which the Dutch territory will not extend much beyond the places occupied by troops, or the ports defended by the guns of the fleet. If the Dutch hold on with their proverbial tenacity, they may conquer in the end, though at an immense cost in treasure and in life. If the Malays are once subdued, and by a wise and lenient policy converted to some degree of loyalty, they may prove, like the Sikhs in India, the brave defenders of the power against which they fought so well.

With such conversation to lighten the hours, they did not seem long, as we were running through the Java Sea. On the third day from Singapore, we came among the Thousand Islands, and in the afternoon descried on the horizon the mountains of Java, and just at sunset were in the roads of Batavia. There is no harbor, but an open roadstead; and 332 here a whole fleet of ships were riding at anchor—ships of war and merchant ships from all parts of the world. It was two or three miles from the quay, but as the evening drew on, we could see lights along the shore; and at eight o'clock, just as the gun was fired from the flagship of the Dutch Admiral, we put off in a native boat, manned by a Malay crew. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and we seemed to be floating in a dream, as our swarthy boatmen bent to their oars, and we glided silently over a tropical sea to this unknown shore.

At the Custom House a dark-skinned official, whose buttons gave him a military air, received us with dignity, and demanded if we had "pistolets," and being satisfied that we were not attempting an armed invasion of the island, gave but a glance at our trunks, and politely bowed us to a carriage that was standing outside the gates, and away we rattled through the streets of Batavia to the Hotel Nederland.

The next morning at an early hour we were riding about to "take our bearings" and adjust ourselves to the situation. If we had not known where we were, but only that we were in some distant part of the world, we could soon guess that we were in a Dutch rather than in an English colony. Here were the inevitable canals which the Dutch carry with them to all parts of the earth. The city is intersected by these watery streets, and the boats in them might be lying at the quays of Rotterdam or Amsterdam. The city reminds us a good deal of the Hague, in its broad streets lined with trees, and its houses, which have a substantial Dutch look, as if they were built for comfort and not for show. They are low and large, spreading out over a great deal of surface, but not towering ambitiously upwards. A pretty sight it was to see these fine old mansions, standing back from the street, with ample space around them, embowered in trees and shrubbery, with lawns and gardens kept in perfect order; and 333 with all the doors and windows wide open, through which we could see the breakfast tables spread, as if to invite even strangers, such as we were, to enter and share their hospitality. Before we left Java, we were guests in one of these mansions, and found that Dutch hospitality was not merely in name.

Among the ornaments of the city are two large and handsome public squares—the King's Plain and Waterloo Plain. The latter name reminds us that the Dutch had a part in the battle of Waterloo. With pardonable pride they are persuaded that the contingent which they contributed to the army of Wellington had no small part in deciding the issue of that terrible day, and they thus commemorate their victory. This plain is used as a parade-ground, and the Dutch cavalry charge over it with ardor, inspired by such heroic memories.

It may surprise some of my readers accustomed to our new American cities, to learn how old is Batavia. About the time that the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Holland, another expedition from the same country carried the Dutch flag to the other side of the world, and Batavia was settled the year before the landing on Plymouth Rock. Of course it was a very small beginning of their power in the East, but slowly the petty trading settlement grew into a colony, and its territory was extended by degrees till, more than a hundred years after, it took in the whole island. In the old palace on Waterloo Plain, now used as a museum, are the portraits of Dutch governors who have ruled here for two hundred and fifty years.

But the capital of Java—at least the residence of the Governor-General—is not at Batavia, but at Buitenzorg, nearly forty miles in the interior, to which one can go by railroad in two hours. As we took our seats in the carriage we had the good fortune to meet Mr. Fraser, an English merchant, who has lived many years in Java, and is well known and highly respected throughout the island, who gave us information 334 of the country over which we were passing. The plains near the sea had at this time an appearance of great beauty. They were laid out in rice fields which have a more vivid color than fields of grain, and now shone with an emerald green. It was the time of the gathering of the harvest, and the fields were filled with reapers, men and women, young men and maidens. But one hears not the click of the reaper. I am told that the attempt to introduce a mowing machine or a patent reaper would make a revolution in the island. All the rice of Java is cut by hand, and not even with the sickle, which is an instrument much too coarse for this dainty work, but with a knife three or four inches long, so that the spears are clipped as with a pair of scissors. Taking a few blades gently, they cut them off, and when they have a handful bind it in a tiny sheaf about as large as a bunch of asparagus. When they have cut and bound up five, one is laid aside for the landlord and four go to the cultivators.

This slow progress might make a young American farmer very impatient. Perhaps not, if he knew all the charms of the rice field, which might make a country swain quite willing to linger. Mr. Fraser explained that this season was the time, and the rice field the scene, of the matrimonial engagements made during the year! Ah, now it is all explained. Who can wonder that the gentle reapers linger over the rice blades while they are proposing or answering questions on which their whole life may depend? No doubt in merry England it has often happened that hay-making and love-making have gone on in the fields together. And we cannot wonder that such rural arts should be known in a land warmed by a tropical sun.

But the food of the natives is not found in the rice fields alone; it is brought down from the top of the cocoanut palm, and drawn up from the bottom of caves of the earth. "Do you see yonder small mountain?" said Mr. F. "That is a 335 famous hunting-ground for the edible birds' nests, which are esteemed such a delicacy by the Chinese. The birds are swallows and build their nests in caves, into which the hunters are let down by long bamboo ropes, and drawn up laden with spoil. So great has been the yield, and so highly prized, that the product of that hill exported to China in one year returned a profit of £4,000. Of late this has been much reduced, owing to the diminished production, or that the Chinese are not ready to pay so much for such dainty luxuries."

At Buitenzorg the low land of the coast is exchanged for the hills. We are at the foot of the range of mountains which forms the backbone of the island. To give an idea of the character of the scenery, let me sketch a picture from my own door in the Bellevue Hotel. The rooms, as in all tropical climates, open on a broad veranda. Here, stretched in one of the easy chairs made of bamboo, we look out upon a scene which might be in Switzerland, so many features has it which are Alpine in their character. The hotel stands on a projecting shelf of rock or spur of a hill, overlooking a deep gorge, through which flows, or rather rushes, a foaming mountain torrent, whose ceaseless murmurs come up from below; while in front, only three or four miles distant, rises the broad breast of a mountain, very much like the lower summits or foothills of the Alps, which hang over many a sequestered vale in Switzerland or in the Tyrol.

But here the resemblance ends. For as we descend from the broad outlines of the landscape to closer details, it changes from the rugged features of an Alpine pass, and takes its true tropical character. There are no snow-clad peaks, for we are almost under the Equator. The scene might be in the Andes rather than in the Alps. The mountain before us, the Salak, is a volcano, though not now in action. As we look down from our perch, the eye rests upon a forest such as is never seen in the Alps. Here are no dark pines, such as 336 clothe the sides of the vale of Chamouni. In the foreground, on the river bank, at the foot of the hill, is a cluster of native huts, half hidden by long feathery bamboos and broad-leaved palms. The forest seems to be made up of palms of every variety—the cocoanut palm, the sago palm, and the sugar palm, with which are mingled the bread-fruit tree, and the nutmeg, and the banana; and not least of all, the cinchona, lately imported from South American forests, which yields the famous Peruvian bark. The attempt to acclimatize this shrub, so precious in medicine, has been completely successful, so that the quinine of Java is said to be even better than that of South America. In the middle distance are the rice fields, with their intense green, and farther, on the side of the mountain, are the coffee plantations, for which Java is so famous.

Buitenzorg has a Botanical Garden, the finest by far to be found out of Europe, and the richest in the world in the special department of tropical plants and trees. All that the tropics pour from their bounteous stores; all those forms of vegetable life created by the mighty rains and mightier sun of the Equator—gigantic ferns, like trees, and innumerable orchids (plants that live on air)—are here in countless profusion. One of the glories of the Garden is an india-rubber tree of great size, which spreads out its arms like an English oak, but dropping shoots here and there (for it is a species of banyan) which take root and spring up again, so that the tree broadens its shade, and as the leaves are thick and tough as leather, offers a shield against even the vertical sun. There are hundreds of varieties of palms—African and South American—some of enormous height and breadth, which, as we walked under their shade, seemed almost worthy to stand on the banks of the River of Life.

Such a vast collection offers an attraction like the Garden of Plants in Paris. I met here the Italian naturalist Beccari, who was spending some weeks at Buitenzorg to make a 337 study of a garden in which he had the whole tropics in a space of perhaps a hundred acres. He has spent the last eight years of his life in the Malayan Archipelago, dividing his time, except a few months in the Moluccas, between Borneo and New Guinea. The latter island he considered richer in its fauna and flora than any other equal spot on the surface of the globe, with many species of plants and animals unknown elsewhere. He had his own boat, and sailed along the coast and up the rivers at his will. He penetrated into the forest and the jungle, living among savages, and for the time adopting their habits of life, not perhaps dressing in skins, but sleeping in their huts or on the ground, and living on their food and such game as he could get with his gun. He laughed at the dangers. He was not afraid of savages or wild beasts or reptiles. Indeed he lived in such close companionship with the animal kingdom that he got to be in very intimate, not to say amicable, relations; and to hear him talk of his friends of the forest, one would think he would almost beg pardon of a beast that he was obliged to shoot and stuff in the interest of science. He complained only that he could not find enough of them. Snakes he "doted on," and if he espied a monster coiling round a tree, or hanging from the branches, his heart leaped up as one who had found great spoil, for he thought how its glistening scales would shine in his collection. I was much entertained by his adventures. He left us one morning in company with our host Carlo, who is a famous hunter, on an expedition after the rhinoceros—a royal game, which abounds in the woods of Java.

The beauty of this island is not confined to one part of it. As yet we have seen only Western Java, and but little of that. But there is Middle Java and Eastern Java. The island is very much like Cuba in shape—long and narrow, being near seven hundred miles one way, and less than a hundred the other. Thus it is a great breakwater dividing the Java Sea from the Indian Ocean. To see its general 338 configuration, one needs to sail along the coast to get a distant view; and then, to appreciate the peculiar character of its scenery, he should make excursions into the interior. The Residents of Rhio and Palembang called to see us and made out an itinéraire; and Mr. Levyssohn Norman, the Secretary General, to whom I brought a letter from a Dutch officer whom we met at Naples, gave me letters to the Residents in Middle Java. Thus furnished we returned to Batavia, and took the steamer for Samarang—two days' sail to the eastward along the northern shore. As we put out to sea a few miles, we get the general figure of the island. The great feature in the view is the mountains, a few miles from the coast, some of which are ten and twelve thousand feet high, which make the background of the picture, whose peculiar outline is derived from their volcanic character. Java lies in what may be called a volcano belt, which is just under the Equator, and reaches not only through Java, but through the islands of Bali and Lombok to the Moluccas. Instead of one long chain of equal elevation in every part, or a succession of smooth, rounded domes, there is a number of sharp peaks thrown up by internal fires. Thus the sky line is changing every league. European travellers are familiar with the cone-like shape of Vesuvius, overlooking the Bay of Naples. Here is the same form, repeated nearly forty times, as there are thirty-eight volcanoes in the island. Around the Bay of Samarang are nine in one view! Some of them are still active, and from time to time burst out in fearful eruptions; but just now they are not in an angry mood, but smoking peacefully, only a faint vapor, like a fleecy cloud, curling up against the sky. All who have made the ascent of Vesuvius, remember that its cone is a blackened mass of ashes and scoriæ. But a volcano here is not left to be such a picture of desolation. Nature, as if weary of ruin, and wishing to hide the rents she has made, has mantled its sides with the richest tropical vegetation. As 339 we stand on the deck of our ship, and look landward, the mountains are seen to be covered near their base with forests of palms; while along their breasts float belts of light cloud, above which the peaks soar into the blue heavens.

At the eastern end of the island, near Souraboya, there is a volcano with the largest crater in the world, except that of Kilaccea in the Sandwich Islands. It is three miles across, and is filled with a sea of sand. Descending into this broad space, and wading through the sand, as if on the desert, one comes to a new crater in the centre, a thousand feet wide, which is always smoking. This the natives regard with superstitious dread, as a sign that the powers below are in a state of anger; and once a year they go in crowds to the mountain, dragging a bullock, which is thrown alive into the crater, with other offerings, to appease the wrath of the demon, who is raging and thundering below.

Wednesday morning brought us to Samarang, the chief port of Middle, as Batavia is of Western, and Sourabaya of Eastern Java. As we drew up to the shore, the quay was lined with soldiers, who were going off to the war in Acheen. The regiments intended for that service are brought first to Java, to get acclimated before they are exposed to what would be fatal to fresh European troops. These were now in fine condition, and made a brave sight, drawn up in rank, with the band playing, and the people shouting and cheering. This is the glittering side of war. But, poor fellows! they have hard times before them, of which they do not dream. It is not the enemy they need to fear, but the hot climate and the jungle fever, which will be more deadly than the kris of the Malay. These soldiers are not all Dutch; some are French. On our return to Batavia, the steamer carried down another detachment, in which I found a couple of French zouaves (there may have been others), one of whom told me he had been in the surrender at Sedan, and the other had taken part in the siege of Paris. After their terms had 340 expired in the French army, they enlisted in the Dutch service, and embarked for the other side of the world, to fight in a cause which is not their own. I fear they will never see France again, but will leave their bones in the jungles of Sumatra.

But our thoughts are not of war, but of peace, as we ride through the long Dutch town, so picturesquely situated between the mountains and the sea, and take the railway for the interior. We soon leave the lowlands of the coast, and penetrate the forests, and wind among the hills. Our first stop is at Solo, which is an Imperial residence. It is a curious relic of the old native governments of Java, that though the Dutch are complete masters, there are still left in the island an Emperor and a Sultan, who are allowed to retain their lofty titles, surrounded with an Imperial etiquette. The Emperor of Solo lives in his "Kraton," which is what the Seraglio is among the Turks, a large enclosure in which is the palace. He has a guard of a few hundred men, who gratify his vanity, and enable him to spend his money in keeping a number of idle retainers; but there is a Dutch Resident close at hand, without whose permission he cannot leave the district, and hardly his own grounds; while in the very centre of the town is a fort, with guns mounted, pointing towards his palace, which it could soon blow about his ears. Thus "protected," he is little better than a State prisoner. But he keeps his title "during good behavior," and once a year turns out in grand state, to make an official visit to the Resident, who receives him with great distinction; and having thus "marched up the hill," he "marches down again." We had a letter to the Resident, and hoped to pay our respects to his Majesty, but learned that it would require several days to arrange an audience. It is a part of the Court dignity which surrounds such a potentate, that he should not be easily accessible, and we should be sorry to disturb the harmless illusion. 341

But if we did not see the "lion" of Solo, we saw the tigers, which were perhaps quite as well worth seeing. The Emperor, amid the diversions with which he occupies his royal mind, likes to entertain his military and official visitors with something better than a Spanish bull-fight, namely, a tiger-fight with a bull or a buffalo, or with men, for which he has a number of trained native spearmen. For these combats his hunters trap tigers in the mountains; and in a building made of heavy timbers fitted close together, with only space between for light and air, were half a dozen of them in reserve. They were magnificent beasts; not whelped in a cage and half subdued by long captivity, like the sleek creatures of our menageries and zoölogical gardens; but the real kings of the forest, caught when full grown (some but a few weeks before), and who roared as in their native wilds. It was terrific to see the glare of their eyes, and to hear the mutterings of their rage. One could not look at them, even through their strong bars, without a shudder. A gentleman of Java told me that he had once caught in the mountains a couple of tigers in a pit, but that as he approached it, their roaring was so terrific, as they bounded against the sides of the pit, that it required all his courage to master a feeling of indescribable terror.

Adjoining the dominion of Solo is that of Jookja, where, instead of an Emperor, is a Sultan, not quite so great a potentate as the former, but who has his chateau and his military guard, and goes through the same performance of playing the king. The Dutch Resident has a very handsome palace, with lofty halls, where on state occasions he receives the Sultan with becoming dignity—a mark of deference made all the more touching by the guns of the fort, which, from the centre of the town, keep a friendly watch for the least sign of rebellion.

This part of Middle Java is very rich in sugar plantations. One manufactory which we visited was said to 342 yield a profit of $400,000 a year. Nor is this the product of slave labor, like the sugar of Cuba. Yet it is not altogether free labor. There is a peculiar system in Java by which the government, which is the owner of the land, in renting an estate to a planter, rents those who live on it with the estate. It guarantees him sufficient labor to work his plantation. The people are obliged to labor. This is exacted partly as a due to the government, amounting to one or two days in the week. For the rest of the time they are paid small wages. But they cannot leave their employer at will. There is no such absolute freedom as that which is said to have ruined Jamaica, where the negro may throw down his tools and quit work at the very moment when the planter is saving his crop. The government compels him to labor, but it also compels his master to pay him. The system works well in Java. Laborers are kept busy, the lands are cultivated, and the production is enormous—not only making the planters rich, but yielding a large revenue to Holland.

At Jookja the railroad ends. Further excursions into the country must be by a private carriage. Some thirty miles distant is an ancient ruin, which is in Java what the Great Pyramid is in Egypt, with which it is often compared. To reach this, we ordered a carriage for the next morning. Probably the landlord thought he had a Milord Anglais for his guest, who must make his progress through the island with royal magnificence; for, when we rose very early for our ride, we found in front of the door a huge carriage with six horses! The horses of Java are small, but full of spirit, like the Canadian ponies. On the box was a fat coachman, who outweighed both of us inside. Behind us stood two fellows of a lighter build, whose high office it was to urge our gallant steeds by voice and lash to their utmost speed. They were dressed in striped jackets, like circus-riders, and were as agile as cats. Whenever the mighty chariot lagged a little, they leaped to the ground, and running forward with 343 extraordinary swiftness, shouted and lashed the horses till, with their goadings and their cries, the beasts, driven to madness, reared and plunged and raced forward so wildly, that we almost expected to be dashed in pieces. Such is the price of glory! What grandeur was this! When we were in Egypt, riding about the streets of Cairo with two "syces" (servants dressed in white, who run before a carriage to clear the way), I felt like Joseph riding in Pharaoh's chariot. But now I felt as if I were Pharaoh himself.

Our route was through long avenues of trees, of palms and bamboos. The roads, as everywhere in Java, are excellent, smooth as a floor, solidly built, and well kept. To construct such roads, and keep them in repair, must be a work of great difficulty, as in the rainy season the floods come in such force as would sweep away any but those which are firmly bedded. These roads are said to be owing to a famous Dutch governor, Marshal Dændels, who ruled here in the early part of this century. According to tradition he was a man of tremendous will, which he enforced with arbitrary and despotic authority. He laid out a system of highways, and assigned to certain native officers each his portion to build. Knowing that things moved slowly in these Eastern countries, and that the officers in charge might try to make excuses for delay, he added a gentle admonition that he should hold each man responsible; and by way of quickening their sense of duty, he erected gibbets at convenient intervals along the road, and if an official failed to "come to time," he simply had him executed. The spectacle of a few of these native gentry hanging by the roadside had such an enlivening effect on the Javanese imagination, that the roads were built as if by magic. Perhaps the system might be applied with excellent effect to "contractors" in other parts of the world!

But on the best roads this speed could not be kept up for a long time. The stages were short, the relays being but five 344 miles apart. Every three-quarters of an hour we changed horses. The stations were built over the roads, something in the style of an old-fashioned turnpike gate; so that we drove under the shelter, and the horses, dripping with foam, were slipped out of the carriage, and left to cool under the shade of the trees, or rolled over in the dust, delighted to be free.

As we advanced, our route wound among the hills. On our right was Merapé, one of the great mountains of Java—his top smoking gently, while rice-fields came up to his foot. This middle part of the island is called the Garden of Java, and it might be called one of the gardens of the world. Nowhere in Europe, not even in Lombardy nor in England, have I seen a richer country. Every foot of ground is in a high state of cultivation. Not only are the plains and valleys covered with rice-fields, but the hills are terraced to admit of carrying the culture far up their sides. Here, as in Western Java, it was the time of the harvest, and the fields were filled with joyous reapers. To this perfect tilling of the earth it is due that this island is one of the most populous portions of the globe. The country literally swarms with inhabitants, as a hive swarms with bees; but so few are their wants, that everybody seems to "live and be merry." We passed through a number of villages which, though the dwellings were of the rudest, yet had a pretty look, as they were embowered in foliage of palms and bamboos. As the country grew more hilly, our progress was not so swift. Sometimes we went down a steep bank to cross a river on a boat, and then it was not an easy task to draw up the carriage on the opposite bank, and we had to call on Cæsar for help. Almost a whole village would turn out. At one time I counted eighteen men pushing and tugging at our wheels, of course with no eye to the small coin that was scattered among them when the top of the bank was reached. So great was the load of dignity we bore! 345

At noon we reached the object of our journey in the famous ruins of Borobodo. Sir Stamford Raffles says that all the labor expended on the Pyramids of Egypt sinks into insignificance when compared with that bestowed on the grand architectural remains of Java; but after seeing this, the greatest on the island, his estimate seems to me very extravagant. This is much smaller than the Great Pyramid, in the space of ground which it covers, and lower in height, and altogether less imposing. But without making comparisons, it is certainly a wonderful pile. It is a pyramid in shape, some four hundred feet square, and nine stories high, being ascended by a series of gigantic steps or terraces. That it was built for Buddhist worship is evident from the figures of Buddha which cover its sides. It is the monument not only of an ancient religion, but of an extinct civilization, of a mighty empire once throned on this island, which has left remains like those of ancient Egypt. What a population and what power must have been here ages ago, to rear such a structure! One can imagine the people gathered at great festivals in numbers such as now assemble at pilgrimages in India. Doubtless this hill of stone was often black with human beings (for as many could stand on its sides as could be gathered in the Coliseum at Rome), while on the open plain in front, stretching to a mountain in the background, a nation might have encamped, like the Israelites before Sinai, to receive the law. But the temple is in ruins, and there is no gathering of the people for worship any more. The religion of the island is changed. Buddhism has passed away, and Islam has taken its place, to pass away in its turn. It was Good Friday, in 1876, that I stood on the top of this pyramid, and thought of Him who on this day suffered for mankind, and whose religion is yet to possess the world. When it has conquered Asia, it will cross the sea, and take this beautiful island, from which it may pass on to the mainland of the continent of Australia. 346

In such musings we lingered for hours, wandering about the ruins and enjoying the landscape, which is one of the most beautiful we have seen in all our travels—the wide sweep in the foreground reminding us of the view from Stirling Castle in Scotland.

But the carriage is waiting, and once more the driver cracks his whip, his horses prance, and away we fly along the roads, through the valleys, and over the hills. At evening we reached Magellang, the centre of one of the districts into which Java is divided, and a town of some importance. It is a curious geographical fact that it stands exactly in the centre of the island. One spot is called the Navel of Java. The Javanese think a certain hill is the head of a great nail, which is driven into the earth and holds the island firm in its place. If this be so, it is strange that it does not keep it more quiet. For if we may use the language of the brokers, we might say with truth that in Java "real estate is active," since it is well shaken up once or twice a year with earthquakes, and is all the time smouldering with volcanoes.

But however agitated underground, the country is very beautiful above it. Here as in all the places where the Dutch "most do congregate," there is a mixture of European civilization with the easy and luxurious ways of the East. Some of the villages are as pretty as any in our own New England, and reminded us of those in the Connecticut valley, being laid out with a broad open square or common in the centre, which is shaded by magnificent trees, and surrounded by beautiful residences, whose broad verandas and open doors give a most inviting picture of domestic comfort and generous hospitality. There is a club-house for the officers, and music by the military band. The Residents always live very handsomely. They are the great men in every district. Each one has a spacious residence, with a military guard, and a salary of six or eight thousand dollars a year, with extras for the expense of entertaining or of 347 travelling, and a liberal pension at the close of twenty years of service.

Magellang is marked with a white stone in our memories of Java, as it was the scene of a novel experience. When we drove into the town, we found the hotel full, which obliged us to fall back upon our letter to the Resident. He was absent, but his secretary at once took us in hand, and requested the "Regent" (a native prince who holds office under the Dutch government, and has special oversight of the native population) to entertain us. He responded in the most courteous manner, so that, instead of being lodged at a hotel, we were received as guests in a princely residence. His "palace" was in the Eastern style, of but one story (as are most of the buildings in Java, on account of earthquakes), but spread out over a large surface, with rows of columns supporting its ample roof, presenting in front in its open colonnade what might be regarded as a spacious hall of audience; and furnishing in its deep recesses a cool retreat from the heat of the tropical sun. A native guard pacing before the door indicated the official character of the occupant. The Regent received us with dignity, but with great cordiality. He was attired in the rich costume of the East. His feet were without stockings, but encased in richly embroidered sandals. He could speak no English, and but a few words of French—only Malay, Dutch, and Javanese. But he sent for a gentleman to dine, who was of Spanish descent, and who, though a native of Java, and had never been out of it, yet spoke both French and English, and thus we were able to converse.

The Regent had a wife, and after a time she entered the hall, and welcomed my niece with a cordiality almost like that of two school-girls meeting. She was simply dressed, in the lightest costume, with bare feet, but in gold-embroidered slippers. Everything in her attire was very plain, except that her ears were hung with diamonds that fairly 348 dazzled us with their brilliancy. She began talking with great volubility, and seemed not quite to comprehend why it was that we did not understand Malay or Javanese. However, with the help of our interpreter, we got along, and were soon in the most confidential relations. She had very vague ideas of the part of the world we came from. We tried to make her understand that the world was round, and that we lived on the other side of the globe. We asked why the Regent did not go abroad to see the world? But she signified with a peculiar gesture, as if counting with her fingers, that it took a great deal of money. She asked "if we were rich," to which we replied modestly that we had enough for our wants. As she talked of family matters, she informed us that her lord had another wife. Of this she spoke without the least reserve. It was quite natural that he should desire this. She (his first wife) had been married to him over twenty years, and was getting a little passée, and he needed a young face to make the house bright and gay. Presently the second wife entered, and we were presented to her. She was very young—I should think not twenty years of age. Evidently the elder occupied the first place in the household, and the younger took the second. They seemed to stand in a kind of sisterly relation to each other, without the slightest feeling of jealousy between them. Both were very pretty, after the Malayan type—that is, with mild, soft eyes, and skins, not black, like Africans, but of a rich brown color. They would have been even beautiful if they had had also, what the Africans so often have, dazzling white teeth; but this is prevented by the constant chewing of the betel-nut and tobacco.

At half-past eight o'clock we went to dinner. C—— had the honor of sitting between the two wives, and enjoyed the courtesy of both, who prepared fruit for her, and by many little attentions, such as are understood in all parts of the world, showed that they belonged to the true sisterhood of woman. 349 The position of woman in Java is somewhat peculiar. The people are Mohammedans, and yet the women are not secluded, nor do they veil their faces; they receive strangers in their houses and at their tables; thus they have much greater freedom than their sisters in Turkey or Egypt. The Regent, being a Mussulman, did not take wine, though he provided it for his guests. After the dinner, coffee was served, of a rich, delicious flavor—for Java is the land of coffee—followed by the inevitable cigar. I do not smoke, but could not allow my refusal to interfere with the habits of those whose guest I was, and could but admire the ineffable satisfaction with which the Regent and his friend puffed the fragrant weed. While they were thus wreathed in clouds, and floating in a perfect Nirvana of material enjoyment, the gentler sex were not forgotten. The two wives took their pleasure in their own fashion. A small box, like a tea-caddy, was brought on the table, full of little silver cups and cases, containing leaves of the betel-nut, and spices, cassia and gambier, a little lime, and a cup of the finest tobacco. Out of these they prepared a delicate morsel for their lips. With her own dainty fingers, each rolled up a leaf of the betel-nut, enclosing in it several kinds of spices, and filling it with a good pinch of tobacco, which, our Spanish friend explained, was not so much for the taste, as to make the morsel plump and round, large enough to fill the mouth (or, as a wine-taster would say of his favorite madeira or port, to give it sufficient body); and also, he added, it was to clean the teeth, and to give an aromatic fragrance to the breath! I repeat, as exactly as I can recall them, his very words.

Whether the precious compound had all these virtues, certainly these courtly dames took it with infinite relish, and rolled it as a sweet morsel under their tongues, and looked on their lord with no jealousy of his enjoyment of his cigar.

Here was a picture of conjugal felicity. The family was evidently an affectionate and happy one. The Regent loved 350 both his wives, and they sat side by side without envy or uncharitableness, happy in the sunshine of his face, and chewed their betel-nut with a composure, an aspect of tranquil enjoyment, which many in more civilized countries may admire, but cannot equal.

In the morning, when the family came together, I remarked that the first wife, who then apparently saw her husband for the first time, came forward, and bending low, kissed his jewelled hand; and soon after the second wife entered, and kissed the first wife's hand, thus observing that natural order of precedence which is so beautiful in every well-regulated family.

I observed also with curious interest the relations of master and servant in this Oriental household. The divisions are very marked. The Regent, for example, is regarded by his retainers with an awe as if he were a sacred person. No one approaches him standing. The theory is, that no inferior must ever be in a position or attitude where his head is higher than his master's. If the Regent but looks at a man, he drops as if shot with a bullet. If a servant wishes to communicate with his master, he falls, not on his knees, but on his haunches, and in this posture shuffles forward till he comes behind his chair, and meekly whispers a word into his ear. He receives his orders, and then shuffles back again. In one way, the division of ranks in Java is more marked even than that of castes in India. The Javanese language, which is a branch of the Malay, has three separate forms of speech—one, that used by a superior addressing an inferior; second, that of an inferior addressing a superior; and a third, that used between equals. Such divisions would seem to cut off all relations between those of different rank. And yet, with all this stooping and bowing, abject as it seems to us, the relation of the master to his dependants is rather patriarchal; and to these same servants the Regent will speak, not only kindly, but familiarly, all the more so as the 351 lines are so drawn that there is no danger that they should ever presume on undue familiarity.

In the morning the Regent took me out for a ramble. We strolled along under the trees, admiring the beauty of the country. After half an hour's walk, suddenly, like an apparition, an open phaeton stood beside us, with two beautiful ponies, into which the Regent invited me to step, and taking his seat by my side, drove me about the town. We returned for breakfast, and then he sent for his musicians to give us a performance, who, beating on drums and other native instruments, executed a plaintive kind of music. With such attentions did this Javanese prince and his wives (none of whom we had ever seen till a few hours before, and on whom we had no claim whatever) win our hearts by their kindness, so that, when the carriage came round to the door, we were sorry to depart. The Regent pressed us to stay a month, or as long as we would. We could not accept a longer hospitality; but we shall remember that which we had. We keep his photograph, with others which we like to look upon; and if these words can reach the other side of the world, they will tell him that his American friends have not forgotten, and will not forget, the kind manner in which they were entertained in the island of Java by the Regent of Magellang.

The drive of to-day was hardly less interesting than that of yesterday, although our pride had a fall. It was a great come-down, after riding with six horses to be reduced to four! But the mortification was relieved by adding now and then, at the steep places, a pair of buffaloes. As we were still in the hill country, we were all day among the coffee plantations, which thrive best at a considerable elevation above the sea. Other products of the island flourished around us in rich abundance: the spices—aloes and cassia, and nutmeg and pepper. And there was our old friend, the peanut. They were gathering perhaps the very nuts that were yet to ornament the stands of the apple-women of New 352 York, and to be a temptation to bootblacks and newsboys. Amid such fields and forests, over mountain roads, and listening to the roar of mountain streams, we came down to Ambarrawa, a place of note in Java, as containing the strongest fortress in the island. It is planted here right in the heart of Middle Java, where, half a century ago, was a formidable insurrection, which was quelled only after an obstinate contest, lasting five years—from 1825 to 1830. Ambarrawa is connected by railroad with Samarang. It is easy to see that both the railroads which start from that point, and which have thus a base on the sea (the one leading to Solo and Jookja, the residences of the Emperor and the Sultan, who might make trouble, and the other to the great fortress of Ambarrawa), have been constructed with a military as well as a commercial purpose.

So the Dutch have had their wars in Java, as the English have had in India; but having conquered, it must be said that on the whole they have ruled wisely and well. The best proof of this is the perfect tranquillity that reigns everywhere, and that with no great display of armed force. What a contrast in this respect between the two most important islands in the East and West Indies—Java and Cuba! They are about equal in the number of square miles. Both have been settled by Europeans for nearly three centuries, and yet to-day Cuba has less than two millions of inhabitants, and is in a chronic state of insurrection; while Java has over fifteen millions (or eight times as many), and is as quiet as Holland itself. The whole story is told in one word—the one is Dutch rule, and the other is Spanish rule.

We spent our Easter in Samarang—a day which is not forgotten in this part of the world, although Sunday is not observed after the manner of Scotland or New England, but rather of Continental Europe, with bands playing on the public square, and all the European world abroad keeping holiday. From Samarang, another two days' sail along the 353 same northern coast, with the grand outline of mountains on the horizon, brought us back to Batavia.

Batavia was not the same to us on the second visit as on the first; or rather it was a great deal more, for now we knew the place, the streets were familiar, and we felt at home—the more so as a Scotch gentleman, to whom we brought a letter from Singapore, Mr. James Greig (of the old house of Syme, Pitcairn & Co., so well known in the East), took us in charge, and carried us off to one of those large mansions which we had so much admired on our former visit, set far back from the street, and surrounded with trees; and constructed especially for this climate, with spacious rooms, wide hall, high ceilings, and broad veranda, and all the devices for mitigating the heat of the tropics. More than all, this hospitable mansion was lighted up by the sweetest feminine presence in one who, though of an old Dutch family well known in Java, had been educated in Paris, and spoke English and French, as well as Dutch and Malay, and who gave us such a welcome as made us feel that we were not strangers. Not only did these friends open their house to us, but devoted themselves till our departure in going about with us, and making our visit pleasant. I do not know whether to call this Scotch or Dutch hospitality, but it was certainly of the most delightful kind.

As we had three or four days before the sailing of the French steamer for Singapore, our friends planned an excursion into the mountains of Western Java, for which we returned to Buitenzorg, and engaged a couple of cahars, carriages as light as if made of wicker-work, with the small Javanese ponies, and thus mounted, began to climb the hills. Our route was over the great post-road, which runs through the island to Souraboya—a road which must have been constructed with immense labor, as it passes over high mountains, but which is as solidly built and as well kept as Napoleon's great road over the Simplon Pass of the Alps. 354 Indeed it is very much the same, having a rocky bed for its foundation, with a macadamized surface, over which the carriage rolls smoothly. But it does not climb so steadily upward as the Simplon or the Mont Cenis. The ascent is not one long pull, like the ascent of the Alps, but by a succession of hills, one beyond another, with many a deep valley between, so that we go alternately up hill and down dale. The hills are very steep, so that the post-carriage, which is as heavy and lumbering as a French diligence, has to be drawn up by buffaloes. Thus it climbs slowly height after height, and when it has reached the summit, goes thundering down the mountain, and rolls majestically along the road. But our light carriages suited us much better than these ponderous vehicles; and as our little ponies trotted swiftly along, we were in a very gay mood, making the woods ring with our merry talk and glee. Sometimes we got out to stretch our limbs with a good walk up the hills, turning as we reached the top to take in the landscape behind us, which spread out broader and broader, as we rose higher and higher. At every stage the view increased in extent and in majesty, till the whole island,

"From the centre all round to the sea,"

was piled with mountains, which here, as in Middle Java, showed their volcanic origin by their forms, now rising in solitary cones, and now lying on the horizon in successive ridges, like mighty billows tossed up on a sea of fire, that in cooling had cracked in all fantastic shapes, which, after being worn down by the storms of thousands of years, were mantled thick with the verdure of forests. As in England the ivy creeps over old walls, covering ruined castles and towers with its perpetual green, so here the luxuriance of the tropics has overspread the ruin wrought by destroying elements. The effect is a mingled wildness and beauty in these mountain landscapes, which often reminded us of Switzerland and the Tyrol. 355

The enjoyment of this ride was increased by the character of the day, which was not all sunshine, but one of perpetual change. Clouds swept over the sky, casting shadows on the sides of the mountains and into the deep valleys. Sometimes the higher summits were wrapped so as to be hidden from sight, and the rain fell heavily; then as the storm drifted away, and the sun burst through the parted clouds, the glorious heights shone in the sudden light like the Delectable Mountains.

The object of our journey was a mountain retreat four thousand feet above the level of the sea—as high as the Righi Kulm, but in no other respect like that mountain-top, which from its height overlooks so many Swiss lakes and cantons. It is rather like an Alpine valley, surrounded by mountains. This is a favorite resort of the Dutch from Batavia. Here the Governor-General has a little box, to which he retires, from his grander residence at Buitenzorg, and here many sick and wounded officers find a cool retreat and recover strength for fresh campaigns. The place bears the musical name of Sindanglaya, which one would think might have been given with some reference to the music of murmuring winds and waters which fill the air. The valley is full of streams, of brooks and springs, that run among the hills. Water, water everywhere! The rain pattering on the roof all night long carried me back to the days of my childhood, when I slept in a little cot under the eaves, and that sound was music to my ear. The Scotch mist that envelopes the mountains might make the traveller fancy himself in the Highlands; and so he might, as he seeks out the little "tarns" that have settled in the craters of extinct volcanoes, where not only wild deer break through the tangled wood of the leafy solitudes, but the tiger and the rhinoceros come to drink. Streams run down the mountain-sides, and springs ooze from mossy banks by the roadside, and temper the air with their dripping coolness. What a place to rest! How 356 this perfect quiet must bring repose to the brave fellows from Acheen, and how sweet must sound this music of mountain streams to ears accustomed to the rude alarms of war!

That we were in a new quarter of the world—far away, not only from America and Europe, but even from Asia—we were reminded by the line of telegraph which kept us company over the mountains, and which here crosses the island on its way to Australia! It goes down the coast to Bangaewangi, where it dives into the sea only to come up on the mainland of the great Southern Continent. Indeed we were strongly advised to extend our journey around the world to Australia, which we could have reached in much less time than it had taken to come from Calcutta to Singapore. But we were more interested to visit old countries and old nations than to set foot on a virgin continent, and to see colonies and cities, which, with all their growth, could only be a smaller edition of what we have so abundantly in the new States of America.

We were now within a few miles of the Southern Ocean, the greatest of all the oceans that wrap their watery mantle around the globe. From the top of the Gédé, a mountain which rose above us, one may look off upon an ocean broader than the Pacific—a sea without a shore—whose waters roll in an unbroken sweep to the Antarctic Pole.

From all these seas and shores, and woods and waters, we now turned away, and with renewed delight in the varied landscapes, rode back over the mountains to Buitenzorg, and came down by rail to Batavia.

Before I depart from this pleasant land of Java, I must say a word about the Dutch and their position in South-eastern Asia. The Dutch have had possession of Java over 250 years—since 1623—without interruption, except from 1811 to 1816, when Napoleon had taken Holland; and as England was using all her forces on land and sea to cripple the French empire in different parts of the world, she sent a 357 fleet against Java. It yielded almost without opposition; indeed many of the Dutch regarded the surrender as simply placing the island under British protection, which saved it from the French. For five years it had an English Governor, Sir Stamford Raffles, who has written a large work on Java. After the fall of Napoleon, England restored Java to the Dutch, but kept Ceylon, Malacca, and the Cape of Good Hope. Thus the Dutch have lost some of their possessions in the East, and yet Holland is to-day the second colonial power in the world, being inferior only to England. The Dutch flag in the East waves not only over Java, but over almost the whole of the Malayan Archipelago, which, with the intervening waters, covers a portion of the earth's surface larger than all Europe.

There are some peculiar physical features in this part of the world. The Malayan Archipelago lies midway between Asia and Australia, belonging to neither, and yet belonging to both. It is a very curious fact, brought out by Wallace, whose great work on "The Malayan Archipelago" is altogether the best on the subject, that this group of islands is in itself divided by a very narrow space between the two continents, which it at once separates and unites. Each has its own distinct fauna and flora. The narrow Strait of Bali, only fifteen miles wide, which separates the two small islands of Bali and Lombok, separates two distinct animal and vegetable kingdoms, which are as unlike as are those of the United States and Brazil. One group belongs to Asia, the other to Australia. Sumatra is full of tigers; in Borneo there is not one. Australia has no carnivora—no beasts that prey on flesh—but chiefly marsupials, such as kangaroos.

There are a good many residents in the East who think Holland, in the management of her dependencies, has shown a better political economy than England has shown in India. An English writer (a Mr. Money), in a volume entitled "How to Govern a Colony," has brought some features of 358 the Dutch policy to the notice of his countrymen. I will mention but one as an illustration. Half a century ago Java was very much run down. A native rebellion which lasted five years had paralyzed the industry of the country. To reanimate it, a couple of years after the rebellion had been subdued, in 1832, the home government began a very liberal system of stimulating production by making advances to planters, and guaranteeing them labor to cultivate their estates. The effect was marvellous. By that wise system of helping those who had not means to help themselves, a new life was at once infused into all parts of the island. Out of that has grown the enormous production of coffee, sugar, and tobacco. Now Java not only pays all the expenses of her own government, (which India does not do, at least without contracting very heavy loans,) but builds her own railroads, and other roads and bridges, and supplies the drain of the Acheen war, and remits every year millions to the Hague to build railroads in Holland.

Is it too much to believe that there is a great future in store for South Eastern Asia? We talk about the future of America. But ours is not the only continent that offers vast unoccupied wastes to the habitation of man. Besides Australia, there are these great islands nearer to Asia, which, from the overflow of India and China, may yet have a population that shall cultivate their waste places. I found in Burmah a great number of Bengalees and Madrasees, who had crossed the Bay of Bengal to seek a home in Farther India; while the Chinese, who form the population of Singapore, had crept up the coast. They are here in Java, in every seaport and in every large town in the interior, and there is every reason to suppose that there will be a yet greater overflow of population in this direction. Sumatra and Borneo are not yet inhabited and cultivated like Java, but in their great extent they offer a magnificent seat for future kingdoms or empires, which, Asiatic in population, 359 may be governed by European laws, and moulded by European civilization.

One thing more before we cross the Equator—a word about nature and life in the tropics. I came to Java partly to see the tropical vegetation, of which we saw but little in India, as we were there in winter, which is at once the cold and the dry season, when vegetation withers, and the vast plains are desolate and dreary. Nature then holds herself in reserve, waiting till the rains come, when the earth will bloom again. But as I could not wait for the change of seasons, I must needs pass on to a land where the change had already come. We marked the transition as we came down the Bay of Bengal. There were signs of changing seasons and a changing nature. We were getting into the rainy belt. In the Straits of Malacca the air was hot and thunderous, and we had frequent storms; the heavens were full of rain, and the earth was fresh with the joy of a newly-opened spring. But still we kept on till we crossed the Equator. Here in Java the rainy season was just over. It ends with the last of March, and we arrived at the beginning of April. For months the windows of heaven had been opened, the rains descended, and the floods came; and lo! the land was like the garden of the Lord. Here we had at last the tropical vegetation in its fullest glory. Nothing can exceed the prodigality and luxuriance of nature when a vertical sun beats down on fields and forests and jungles that have been drenched for months in rain. Vegetation of every kind springs up, as in the temperate zone it appears only when forced in heated conservatories (as in the Duke of Devonshire's gardens at Chatsworth), and the land waves with these luxuriant growths. In the forest creeping plants wind round the tall trunks, and vines hang in festoons from tree to tree.

But while the tropical forest presents such a wild luxuriance of growth, I find no single trees of such stature as I 360 have seen in other parts of the world. Except an occasional broad-spreading banyan, I have seen nothing which, standing alone, equals in its solitary majesty the English oak or the American elm. Perhaps there is a difference in this respect between countries in the same latitude in the Eastern and Western hemispheres. An English gentleman whom we found here in charge of a great sugar plantation, who had spent some years in Rio Janeiro, told me that the trees of Java did not compare in majesty with those of Brazil. Nor is this superiority confined to South America. Probably no trees now standing on the earth equal the Big Trees of California. And besides these there are millions of lofty pines on the sides of the Sierra Nevada, which I have seen nowhere equalled unless it be in the mighty cedars which line the great Tokaido of Japan. On the whole, I am a little inclined to boast that trees attain their greatest height and majesty in our Western hemisphere.

But the glory of the tropics is in the universal life of nature, spreading through all her realms, stirring even under ground, and causing to spring forth new forms of vegetation, which coming up, as it were, out of the darkness of the grave, seek the sun and air, whereby all things live.

Of course one cannot but consider what effect this marvellous production must have upon man. Too often it overpowers him, and makes him its slave, since he cannot be its master. This is the terror of the Tropics, as of the Polar regions, that nature is too strong for man to subdue her. What can he do—poor, puny creature—against its terrible forces; against the heat of a vertical sun, that while it quickens the earth, often blasts the strength of man, subduing his energy, if not destroying his life? What can man do in the Arctic circle against the cold that locks up whole continents in ice? Much as he boasts of his strength and of his all-conquering will, he is but a child in the lap of nature, tossed about by material forces as a leaf is blown by the 361 wind. The best region for human development and energy is the temperate zone, where nature stimulates, but does not overpower, the energies of man, where the winter's cold does not benumb him and make him sink into torpor, but only pricks him to exertion and makes him quicken his steps.

The effect of this fervid climate shows itself not only upon natives, but upon Europeans. It induces a languor and indisposition to effort. It has two of the hardest and toughest races in the world to work upon, in the English in India and the Dutch in Java, and yet it has its effect even upon them, and would have a still greater were it not that this foreign element is constantly changing, coming and going, whereby there is all the time a fresh infusion of European life. Here in Java the Dutch have been longer settled than the English in India; they more often remain in the island, and the effect of course is more marked from generation to generation. The Dutchman is a placid, easy-going creature, even in his native Holland, except when roused by some great crisis, like a Spanish invasion, and then he fights with a courage which has given him a proud name in history. But ordinarily he is of a calm and even temper, and likes to sit quietly and survey his broad acres, and smoke his pipe in blissful content with himself and all the world beside. When he removes from Holland to the other side of the world, he has not changed his nature; he is a Dutchman still, only with his natural love of ease increased by life in the tropics. It is amusing to see how readily his Dutch nature falls in with the easy ways of this Eastern world.

If I were to analyze existence, or material enjoyment in this part of the world, I should say that the two great elements in one's life, or at least in his comfort, are sleep and smoke. They smoke in Holland, and they have a better right to smoke in Java; for here they but follow the course of nature. Why should not man smoke, when even the earth itself respires 362 through smoke and flame? The mountains smoke, and why not the Dutch? Only there is this difference: the volcanoes sometimes have a period of rest, but the Dutch never. Morning, noon, and night, before breakfast and after dinner, smoke, smoke, smoke! It seems to be a Dutchman's ideal of happiness. I have been told of some who dropped to sleep with the cigar in their lips, and of one who required his servants to put his pipe between his teeth while he was yet sleeping, that he might wake up with the right taste in his mouth. It seemed to me that this must work injury to their health, but they think not. Perhaps there is something in the phlegmatic Dutch temperament that can stand this better than the more mercurial and excitable English or American.

And then how they do sleep! Sleep is an institution in Java, and indeed everywhere in the tropics. The deep stillness of the tropical noon seems to prescribe rest, for then nature itself sinks into repose. Scarcely a leaf moves in the forest—the birds cease their musical notes, and seek for rest under the shade of motionless palms. The sleep of the Dutch is like this stillness of nature. It is profound and absolute repose. For certain hours of the day no man is visible. I had a letter to the Resident of Solo, and went to call on him at two o'clock. He lived in a grand Government House, or palace; but an air of somnolence pervaded the place, as if it were the Castle of Indolence. The very servant was asleep on the marble pavement, where it was his duty to keep watch; and when I sent in my letter, he came back making a very significant gesture, leaning over his head to signify that his master was asleep. At five o'clock I was more fortunate, but even then he was dressed with a lightness of costume more suitable for one who was about to enter his bath than to give audience.

There is a still graver question for the moralist to consider—the effect of these same physical influences upon human 363 character. No observer of men in different parts of the world can fail to see that different races have been modified by climate, not only in color and features, but in temperament, in disposition, and in character. A hot climate makes hot blood. Burning passions do but reflect the torrid sun. What the Spaniard is in Europe, the Malay is in Asia. There is a deep philosophy in the question of Byron:

"Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle

Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime,

Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,

Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime?"

But I must not wander into deep philosophy. I only say that great as is the charm of life in the tropics, it is not without alloy. In landing in Java it seemed as if we had touched the shores of some enchanted island, as if we had found the Garden of Paradise lying far off in these Southern seas. We had come to the land of perpetual spring and perpetual summer, where nature is always in bloom, and frost and snow and hail have fled away to the bleak and wintry North. But as we are obliged to go back to that North, we wish to be reconciled to it. We find that one may have too much even of Paradise. There is a monotony in perpetual summer. The only change of seasons here is from the dry season to the rainy season; and the only difference between these, so far as we can see, is that in the dry season it rains, and in the rainy season it pours. We have been here in the dry season, and yet we have had frequent showers, with occasional thunderstorms. If we should stay here a year, we should weary of this unrelieved monotony of sun and rain. We should long for some more marked change of seasons, for the autumn leaves and the winter winds, and the gradual coming on of spring, and all those insensible gradations of nature which make the glory of the full round year. 364

And what a loss should we find in the absence of twilight. Java, being almost under the Equator, the days and nights are almost equal throughout the year; there are no short days and no long days. Day and night come on suddenly—not instantly, but in a few minutes the night breaks into the full glare of day, and the day as quickly darkens into night. How we should miss the long summer twilight, which in our Northern latitudes lingers so softly and tenderly over the quiet earth.

Remembering these things, we are reconciled to our lot in living in the temperate zone, and turn away even from the soft and easy life of the tropics, to find a keener delight in our rugged clime, and to welcome even the snow-drifts and the short winter days, since they bring the long winter evenings, and the roaring winter fires!

We leave Java, therefore, not so much with regret that we can no longer sit under the palm groves, and indulge in the soft and easy life of the tropics, as that we part from friends. Our last night in Batavia they took us to a representation given by amateurs at the English Club, where it was very pleasant to see so many English faces in this distant part of the world, and to hear our own mother tongue. The next morning they rode down with us to the quay, and came off to the steamer, and did not leave us till it was ready to move; and it was with a real sadness that we saw them over the ship's side, and watched their fluttering signals as they sailed back to the shore. These partings are the sore pain of travel. But the friendships remain, and are delightful in memory. A pleasure past is a pleasure still. Even now it gives us a warm feeling at the heart to think of those kind friends on the other side of the globe.




In Singapore, as in Batavia, the lines fell to us in pleasant places. An English merchant, Mr. James Graham, carried us off to his hospitable bungalow outside the town, where we passed four days. It stood on a hill, from which we looked off on one side to the harbor, where were riding the ships of all nations, and on the other to an undulating country, with here and there an English residence embowered in trees. In this delightful retreat our hosts made us feel perfectly at home. We talked of England and America; we romped with the children; we played croquet on the lawn; we received calls from the neighbors, and went out to "take tea" in the good old-fashioned way. We attended service, the Sunday before going to Java, in the Cathedral, and on our return, in the Scotch church; so that around us, even at this extremity of Asia, were the faces and voices, the happy domestic life, and the religious worship, of dear old England.

But just as we began to settle into this quiet life, the steamer was signalled from Ceylon which was to take us to China, and we had to part from our new friends.

It had been in my plan to go from here to Siam. It is but three days' sail from Singapore up the Gulf to Bangkok; but it is not so easy to get on from there. Could we have been sure of a speedy passage to Saigon, to connect with the French steamer, we should not have hesitated; but without this, we might be detained for a week or two, or be obliged to come back to Singapore. Thus uncertain, we felt that it was safer 366 to take the steamer direct for Hong Kong, though it was a sore disappointment to pass across the head of the Gulf of Siam, knowing that we were so near the Land of the White Elephant, and leave it unvisited.

The China seas have a very bad name among sailors and travellers, as they are often swept by terrible cyclones; but we crossed at a favorable season, and escaped. The heat was great, and passengers sat about on deck in their easy cane chairs, as on the Red Sea; but beyond that, we experienced not so much discomfort as on the Mediterranean. On the sixth morning we saw in the distance an island, which, as we drew nearer, rose up so steeply and so high that it appeared almost like a mountain. This was the Peak of Hong Kong—a signal-station from which men, with their glasses, can look far out to sea, and as soon as one of the great steamers is descried on the horizon, a flag is run up and a gun fired to convey the news to the city below. Coming up behind the island, we swept around its point, and saw before us a large town, very picturesquely situated on the side of a hill, rising street above street, and overlooking a wide bay shut in by hills, so that it is sheltered from the storms that vex the China seas. The harbor was full of foreign ships, among which were many ships of war (as this is the rendezvous of the British fleet in these waters), which were firing salutes; among those flying the flags of all nations was one modest representative of our country, of which we did not need to be ashamed—the Kearsarge. We afterwards went on board of her, and saw and stroked with affection, mingled with pride, the big gun that sunk the Alabama.

Hong Kong, like Singapore, is an English colony, but with a Chinese population. You can hardly set foot on shore before you are snapped up by a couple of lusty fellows, with straw hats as large as umbrellas on their heads, and who, though in bare feet, stand up as straight as grenadiers, and as soon as you take your seat in a chair, lift the bamboo 367 poles to their shoulders, and walk off with you on the double-quick.

No country which we see for the first time is exactly as we supposed it to be. Somehow I had thought of China as a vast plain like India; and behold! the first view reveals a wild, mountainous coast. As we climb Victoria Peak above Hong Kong, and look across to the mainland, we see only barren hills—a prospect almost as desolate as that of the Arabian shores on the Red Sea.

But what wonders lie beyond that Great Wall of mountains which guards this part of the coast of China! One cannot be in sight of such a country without an eager impulse to be in it, and after two or three days of rest we set out for Canton, which is only eight hours distant. Our boat was an American one, with an American captain, who took us into the wheel-house, and pointed out every spot of interest as we passed through the islands and entered the Canton river. Forty miles south is the old Portuguese port of Macao. At the mouth of the river are the Bogue Forts, which played such a part in the English war of 1841, but which were sadly battered, and now lie dismantled and ungarrisoned. Going by the stately Second Bar Pagoda, we next pass Whampoa, the limit to which foreign vessels could come before the Treaty Ports were opened. As we ascend the river, it is crowded with junks—strange craft, high at both ends, armed with old rusty cannon, with which to beat off the pirates that infest these seas, and ornamented at the bow with huge round eyes, that stand out as if from the head of some sea-monster, some terrible dragon, which keeps watch over the deep. Amid such fantastic barks, with their strange crews, we steamed up to Canton.

At the landing, a son of Dr. Happer, the American missionary, came on board with a letter from his father inviting us to be his guests, and we accordingly took a native boat, and were rowed up the river. Our oarsman was a woman, 368 who, besides the trifle of rowing our boat up the stream, had a baby strapped on her back! Perhaps the weight helped her to keep her balance as she bent to the oar. But it was certainly bringing things to a pretty fine point when human muscles were thus economized. This boat, well called in Chinese a tan-ka or egg-house, was the home of the family. It sheltered under its little bamboo cover eight souls (as many as Noah had in the Ark), who had no other habitation. Here they ate and drank and slept; here perhaps children were born and old men died. In Canton it is estimated that a hundred and fifty thousand people thus live in boats, leading a kind of amphibious existence.

Above the landing is the island of Shameen, a mile long, which is the foreign quarter, where are the Hongs, or Factories, of the great tea-merchants, and where live the wealthy foreign residents. Rounding this island, we drew up to the quay, in front of Dr. Happer's door, where we found that welcome which is never wanting under the roof of an American missionary. Dr. Happer has lived here thirty-two years, and was of course familiar with every part of Canton, and was an invaluable guide in the explorations of the next three or four days.

When we were in Paris, we met Dr. Wells Williams, the well-known missionary, who had spent over forty years in China, twelve of them in Peking, of which he said, that apart from its being the capital, it had little to interest a stranger—at least not enough to repay the long journey to reach it. He said it would take a month to go from Shanghai to Tientsin, and then cross the country cramped up in carts to Peking, and visit the Great Wall, and return to Shanghai. Canton was not only much nearer, but far more interesting, and the best representative of a Chinese city in the Empire.

The next morning we began our excursions, not with horses and chariots, but with coolies and chairs. An English 369 gentleman and his wife, who had come with us from Singapore, joined us, making, with a son of Dr. Happer and the guide, a party of six, for whom eighteen bearers drew up before the door, forming quite a procession as we filed through the streets. The motion was not unpleasant, though they swung us along at a good round pace, shouting to the people to get out of the way, who forthwith parted right and left, as if some high mandarin were coming. The streets were narrow and densely crowded. Through such a mass it required no small effort to force our way, which was effected only by our bearers keeping up a constant cry, like that of the gondoliers in Venice, when turning a corner in the canals—a signal of warning to any approaching in the opposite direction. I could but admire the good-nature of the people, who yielded so readily. If we were thus to push through a crowd in New York, and the policemen were to shout to the "Bowery boys" to "get out of the way," we might receive a "blessing" in reply that would not be at all agreeable. But the Chinamen took it as a matter of course, and turned aside respectfully to give us a passage, only staring mildly with their almond eyes, to see what great personages were these that came along looking so grand.

Our way led through the longest street of the city, which bears the sounding name of the Street of Benevolence and Love. This is the Broadway of Canton, only it is not half as wide as Broadway. It is very narrow, like some of the old streets of Genoa, and paved, like them, with huge slabs of stone. On either side it is lined with shops, into which we had a good opportunity to look as we brushed past them, for they stood wide open. They were of the smallest dimensions, most of them consisting of a single room, even when hung with beautiful embroideries. There may be little recesses behind, hidden interiors where they live, though apparently we saw the whole family. In many shops they were taking their meals in full sight of the passers-by. There was 370 no variety of courses; a bowl of rice in the centre of the table was the universal dish (for rice is the staff of life in Asia, as bread is in America), garnished perchance with some "little pickle," in the shape of a bit of fish and soy, to serve as a sauce piquante to stimulate the flagging appetite. But apparently they needed no appetizer, for they plied their chop-sticks with unfailing assiduity.

Our first day's ride was probably ten or twelve miles, and took us through such "heavenly streets" as we never knew before, and did not expect to walk in till we entered the gates of the New Jerusalem. Besides the Street of Benevolence and Love, which might be considered the great highway of the Celestial City, there were streets which bore the enrapturing names of "Peace," "Bright Cloud," and "Longevity;" of "Early-bestowed Blessings" and of "Everlasting Love;" of "One Hundred Grandsons" and (more ambitious still) of "One Thousand Grandsons;" of "Five Happinesses" and of "Refreshing Breezes;" of "Accumulated Blessings" and of "Ninefold Brightness." There was a "Dragon street," and others devoted to "The Ascending Dragon," "The Saluting Dragon," and "The Reposing Dragon;" while other titles came probably a little nearer the plain fact, such as "The Market of Golden Profits." All the shops have little shrines near the door dedicated to Tsai Shin, or the God of Wealth, to whom the shopkeepers offer their prayers every day. I think I have heard of prayers offered to that divinity in other countries, and no one could doubt that these prayers at least were fervent and sincere.

But names do not always designate realities, and though we passed through the street of a "Thousand Beatitudes" and that of a "Thousandfold Peace," we saw sorrow and misery enough before the day was done.

One gets an idea of the extent of a city not only by traversing its streets, but by ascending some high point in the 371 vicinity that overlooks it. The best point for such a bird's-eye view is the Five-storied Pagoda, from which the eye ranges over a distance of many miles, including the city and the country around to the mountains in the distance, with the broad river in front, and the suburb on the other side. The appearance of Canton is very different from that of a European city. It has no architectural magnificence. There are some fine houses of the rich merchants, built of brick, with spacious rooms and courts; but there are no great palaces towering over the city—no domes like St. Paul's in London, or St. Peter's in Rome, nor even like the domes and minarets of Constantinople. The most imposing structure in view is the new Roman Catholic Cathedral. Here and there a solitary pagoda rises above the vast sea of human dwellings, which are generally of but one, seldom two stories in height, and built very much alike; for there is the same monotony in the Chinese houses as in the figures and costumes of the Chinese themselves. Nor is this level surface relieved by any variety of color. The tiled roofs, with their dead color, but increase the sombre impression of the vast dull plain; yet beneath such a pall is a great city, intersected by hundreds of streets, and occupied by a million of human beings.

The first impression of a Chinese city is of its myriad, multitudinous life. There are populous cities in Europe, and crowded streets; but here human beings swarm, like birds in the air or fishes in the sea. The wonder is how they all live; but that is a mystery which I could not solve in London any more than here. There is one street a mile long, which has in it nothing but shoemakers. The people amused us very much by their strange appearance and dress, in both which China differs wholly from the Orient. A Chinaman is not at all like a Turk. He does not wear a turban, nor even a long, flowing beard. His head is shaved above and below—face, chin, and skull—and instead of the 372 patriarchal beard before him, he carries only a pigtail behind. The women whom we met in the streets (at least those of any position, for only the common work-women let their feet grow) hobbled about on their little feet, which were like dolls' feet—a sight that was half ludicrous and half painful.

But if we were amused at the Chinese, I dare say they were as much amused at us. The people of Canton ought by this time to be familiar with white faces. But, strange to say, wherever we went we attracted a degree of attention which had never been accorded us before in any foreign city. Boys ran after us, shouting as they ran. If the chairs were set down in the street, as we stopped to see a sight, a crowd gathered in a moment. There was no rudeness, but mere curiosity. If we went into a temple, a throng collected about the doors, and looked in at the windows, and opened a passage for us as we came out, and followed us till we got into our chairs and disappeared down the street. The ladies of our party especially seemed to be objects of wonder. They did not hobble on the points of their toes, but stood erect, and walked with a firm step. Their free and independent air apparently inspired respect. The children seemed to hesitate between awe and terror. One little fellow I remember, who dared to approach too near, and whom my niece cast her eye upon, thought that he was done for, and fled howling. I have no doubt all reported, when they went home, that they had seen some strange specimens of "foreign devils."

But the Chinese are a highly civilized people. In some things, indeed, they are mere children, compared with Europeans; but in others they are in advance of us, especially those arts which require great delicacy, such as the manufacture of some kinds of jewelry, exquisite trinkets in gold and silver, in which Canton rivals Delhi and Lucknow, and in the finest work in ivory and in precious woods; also in those which require a degree of patience to be found nowhere except 373 among Asiatics. For example, I saw a man carving an elephant's tusk, which would take him a whole year! The Chinese are also exquisite workers in bronze, as well as in porcelain, in which they have such a conceded mastery that specimens of "old China" ornament every collection in Europe. Their silks are as rich and fine as any that are produced from the looms of Lyons or Antwerp. This need not surprise us, for we must remember the great antiquity of China; that the Chinese were a highly civilized people when our ancestors, the Britons, were barbarians. They had the art of printing and the art of gunpowder long before they were known in Europe. Chinese books are in some respects a model for ours now, not only in cheapness, but in their extreme lightness, being made of thin bamboo paper, so that a book weighs in the hand hardly more than a newspaper.

Of course every stranger must make the round of temples and pagodas, of which there are enough to satisfy any number of worshippers. There is a Temple of the Five Genii, and one of the Five Hundred Arhans, or scholars of Buddha. There is a Temple of Confucius, and a Temple of the Emperor, where the mandarins go and pay to his Majesty and to the Sage an homage of divine adoration. I climbed up into his royal seat, and thought I was quite as fit an object of worship as he! There is a Temple of Horrors, which outdoes the "Chamber of Horrors" in Madame Tussaud's famous exhibition of wax-works in London. It is a representation of all the torments which are supposed to be endured by the damned, and reminds one of those frightful pictures painted in the Middle Ages in some Roman Catholic countries, in which heretics are seen in the midst of flames, tossed about by devils on pitchforks. But the Chinese soften the impression. To restore the balance of mind, terrified by these frightful representations, there is a Temple of Longevity, in which there is a figure of Buddha, such as the ancient Romans might have made of Bacchus or Silenus—a mountain 374 of flesh, with fat eyes, laughing mouth, and enormous paunch. Even the four Kings of Heaven, that rule over the four points of the compass—North, South, East, and West—have much more of an earthly than a heavenly look. All these figures are grotesque and hideous enough; but to their credit be it said, they are not obscene, like the figures in the temples of India. Here we made the same observation as in Burmah, that Buddhism is a much cleaner and more decent religion than Hindooism. This is to its honor. "Buddhism," says Williams, "is the least revolting and impure of all false religions." Its general character we have seen elsewhere. Its precepts enjoin self-denial and practical benevolence. It has no cruel or bloody rites, and nothing gross in its worship. Of its priests, some are learned men, but the mass are ignorant, yet sober and inoffensive. At least they are not a scandal to their faith, as are the priests of some forms of Christianity. That the Chinese are imbued with religious ideas is indicated in the very names of the streets already mentioned, whereby, though in a singular fashion, they commemorate and glorify certain attributes of character. The idea which seems most deep-rooted in their minds is that of retribution according to conduct. The maxim most frequent in their mouths is that good actions bring their own reward, and bad actions their own punishment. This idea was very pithily expressed by the famous hong-merchant, Howqua, in reply to an American sea-captain, who asked him his idea of future rewards and punishments, to which he replied in pigeon-English: "A man do good, he go to Joss; he no do good, very much bamboo catchee he!"

But we will leave the temples with their grinning idols; as we leave the restaurants, where lovers of dainty dishes are regaled with dogs and cats; and the opium-shops, where the Chinese loll and smoke till they are stupefied by the horrid drug; for Canton has something more attractive. We found a very curious study in the Examination Hall, illustrating, as 375 it does, the Chinese manner of elevating men to office. We hear much in our country of "civil service reform," which some innocently suppose to be a new discovery in political economy—an American invention. But the Chinese have had it for a thousand years. Here appointments to office are made as the result of a competitive examination; and although there may be secret favoritism and bribery, yet the theory is one of perfect equality. In this respect China is the most absolute democracy in the world. There is no hereditary rank or order of nobility; the lowest menial, if he has native talent, may raise himself by study and perseverance to be Prime Minister of the Empire.

In the eastern quarter of Canton is an enclosure of many acres, laid off in a manner which betokens some unusual purpose. The ground is divided by a succession of long, low buildings, not much better than horse-sheds around a New England meeting-house of the olden time. They run in parallel lines, like barracks for a camp, and are divided into narrow compartments. Once in three years this vast camping-ground presents an extraordinary spectacle, for then are gathered in these courts, from all parts of the province, some ten thousand candidates, all of whom have previously passed a first examination, and received a degree, and now appear to compete for the second. Some are young, and some are old, for there is no limit put upon age. As the candidates present themselves, each man is searched, to see that he has no books, or helps of any kind, concealed upon his person, and then put into a stall about three feet wide, just large enough to turn around in, and as bare as a prisoner's cell. There is a niche in the wall, in which a board can be placed for him to sit upon, and another niche to support a board that has to serve as breakfast-table and writing-table. This is the furniture of his room. Here he is shut in from all communication with the world, his food being passed to him through the door, as to a prisoner. Certain themes are 376 then submitted to him in writing, on which he is to furnish written essays, intended generally, and perhaps always, to determine his knowledge of the Chinese classics. It is sometimes said that these are frivolous questions, the answers to which afford no proof whatever of one's capacity for office; but it should be remembered that these classics are the writings of Confucius, which are the political ethics of the country, the very foundation of the government, without knowing which one is not qualified to take part in its administration.

The candidate goes into his cell in the afternoon, and spends the night there, which gives him time for reflection, and all the next day and the next night, when he comes out, and after a few days is put in again for another trial of the same character; and this is repeated a third time; at the end of which he is released from solitary confinement, and his essays are submitted for examination. Of the ten thousand, only seventy-five can obtain a degree—not one in a hundred! The nine thousand and nine hundred must go back disappointed, their only consolation being that after three years they can try again. Even the successful ones do not thereby get an office, but only the right to enter for a third competition, which takes place at Peking, by which of course their ranks are thinned still more. The few who get through this threefold ordeal take a high place in the literary or learned class, from which all appointments to the public service are made. Here is the system of examination complete. No trial can be imagined more severe, and it ought to give the Chinese the best civil service in the world.

May we not get a hint from this for our instruction in America, where some of our best men are making earnest efforts for civil service reform? If the candidates, who flock to Washington at the beginning of each administration, were to be put into cells, and fed on bread and water, it might check the rage for office, and the number of applicants might be diminished; and if they were required to pass 377 an examination, and to furnish written essays, showing at least some degree of knowledge of political affairs, we might have a more intelligent class of officials to fill consular posts in different parts of the world.

But, unfortunately, it might be answered that examinations, be they ever so strict, do not change human nature, nor make men just or humane; and that even the rigid system of China does not restrain rulers from corruption, nor protect the people from acts of oppression and cruelty.

Three spots in Canton had for me the fascination of horror—the court, the prison, and the execution ground. I had heard terrible tales of the trial by torture—of men racked to extort the secrets of crime, and of the punishments which followed. These stories haunted me, and I hoped to find some features which would relieve the impression of so much horror. I wished to see for myself the administration of justice—to witness a trial in a Chinese court. A few years ago this would have been impossible; foreigners were excluded from the courts. But now they are open, and all can see who have the nerve to look on. Therefore, after we had made a long circuit through the streets of Canton, I directed the bearers to take us to the Yamun, the Hall of Justice. Leaving our chairs in the street, we passed through a large open court into a hall in the rear, where at that very moment several trials were going on.

The court-room was very plain. A couple of judges sat behind tables, before whom a number of prisoners were brought in. The mode of proceeding was very foreign to American or European ideas. There was neither jury nor witnesses. This simplified matters exceedingly. There is no trial by jury in China. While we haggle about impanelling juries and getting testimony, and thus trials drag on for weeks, in China no such obstacle is allowed to impede the rapid course of justice; and what is more, there are no lawyers to perplex the case with their arguments, but the judge 378 has it all his own way. He is simply confronted with the accused, and they have it all between them.

While we stood here, a number of prisoners were brought in; some were carried in baskets (as they are borne to execution), and dumped on the stone pavement like so many bushels of potatoes; others were led in with chains around their necks. As each one's name was called, he came forward and fell on his knees before the judge, and lifted up his hands to beg for mercy. He was then told of the crime of which he was accused, and given opportunity if he had anything to say in his own defence. There was no apparent harshness or cruelty towards him, except that he was presumed to be guilty, unless he could prove his innocence; contrary to the English maxim of law, that a man is to be presumed innocent until he is proved guilty. In this, however, the Chinese practice is not very different from that which exists at this day in so enlightened a country as France.

For example, two men were accused of being concerned together in a burglary. As they were from another prefecture, where there is another dialect, they had to be examined through an interpreter. The judge wished to find out who were leagued with them, and therefore questioned them separately. Each was brought in in a basket, chained and doubled up, so that he sat helplessly. No witness was examined, but the man himself was simply interrogated by the judge.

In another case, two men were accused of robbery with violence—a capital offence, but by the Chinese law no man can be punished with death unless he confesses his crime; hence every means is employed to lead a criminal to acknowledge his guilt. Of course in a case of life and death he will deny it as long as he can. But if he will not confess, the court proceeds to take stringent measures to make him confess, for which purpose these two men were now put to the torture. The mode of torture was this: There were two 379 round pillars in the hall. Each man was on his knees, with his feet chained behind him, so that he could not stir. He was then placed with his back to one of these columns, and small cords were fastened around his thumbs and great toes, and drawn back tightly to the pillar behind. This soon produced intense suffering. Their breasts heaved, the veins on their foreheads stood out like whipcords, and every feature betrayed the most excruciating agony. Every few minutes an officer of the court asked if they were ready to confess, and as often they answered, "No; never would they confess that they had committed such a crime." They were told if they did not confess, they would be subjected to still greater torture. But they still held out, though every moment seemed an hour of pain.

While these poor wretches were thus writhing in agony, I turned to the judge to see how he bore the spectacle of such suffering. He sat at his table quite unmoved; yet he did not seem like a brutal man, but like a man of education, such as one might see on the bench in England or America. He seemed to look upon it as in the ordinary course of proceedings, and a necessary step in the conviction of a criminal. He used no bravado, and offered no taunt or insult. But the cries of the sufferers did not move him, nor prevent his taking his accustomed ease. He sat fanning himself and smoking his pipe, as if he said he could stand it as long as they could. Of course he knew that, as their heads were at stake, they would deny their guilt till compelled to yield; but he seemed to look upon it as simply a question of endurance, in which, if he kept on long enough, there could be but one issue.

But still the men did not give in, and I looked at them with amazement mingled with horror, to see what human nature could endure. The sight was too painful to witness more than a few moments, and I rushed away, leaving the men still hanging to the pillars of torture. I confess I felt a 380 relief when I went back the next day, to hear that they had not yielded, but held out unflinchingly to the last.

Horrible as this seems, I have heard good men—men of humanity—argue in favor of torture, at least "when applied in a mild way." They affirm that in China there can be no administration of justice without it. In a country where testimony is absolutely worthless—where as many men can be hired to swear falsely for ten cents apiece as you have money to buy—there is no possible way of arriving at the truth but by extorting it. No doubt it is a rough process, but it secures the result. As it happened, the English gentleman who accompanied us was a magistrate in India, and he confirmed the statement as to the difficulty, and in many cases the impossibility, of getting at the truth, because of the unfathomable deceit of the natives. Many cases came before him in which he was sure a witness was lying, but he was helpless to prove it, when a little gentle application of the thumbscrew, or even a good whipping, would have brought out the truth, which, for want of it, could not be discovered.

To the objection that such methods may coerce the innocent as well as the guilty—that the pain may be so great that innocent men will confess crimes that they never committed, rather than suffer tortures worse than death—the answer is, that as guilt makes men cowards, the guilty will give up, while the innocent hold out. But this is simply trusting to the trial by lot. It is the old ordeal by fire. A better answer is, that the court has beforehand strong presumptive evidence of the crime, and that a prisoner is not put to the torture until it has been well ascertained by testimony obtained elsewhere that he is a great offender. When it is thus determined that he is a robber or a murderer, who ought not to live, then this last step is taken to compel him to acknowledge his guilt, and the justice of his condemnation. 381

But there are cases in which a man may be wrongfully accused; an enemy may bribe a witness to make a complaint against him, upon which he is arrested and cast into prison. Then, unless he can bring some powerful influence to rescue him, his case is hopeless. He denies his guilt, and is put to the rack for an offence of which he is wholly innocent. Such cases, no doubt, occur; and yet men who have lived here many years, such as Dr. Happer and Archdeacon Gray, tell me that they do not believe there is a country in the world where, on the whole, justice is more impartially administered than in China.

I was so painfully interested in this matter, that I went back to the Yamun the next day in company with Dr. Happer, to watch the proceedings further. As before, a number of prisoners were brought in, with chains around their necks, each of whom, when called, fell down on his knees before the judge and begged for mercy. They were not answered harshly or roughly, but listened to with patience and attention. Several whose cases were not capital, at once confessed their offence, and took the punishment. One young fellow, a mere overgrown boy of perhaps eighteen, was brought up, charged with disobedience to parents. He confessed his fault, and blubbered piteously for mercy, and was let off for this time with rather a mild punishment, which was to wear a chain with a heavy stone attached, which he was to drag about after him in the street before the prison, where he was exposed to the scorn of the people. The judge, however, warned him that if he repeated the disobedience, and was arrested again, he would be liable to be punished with death! Such is the rigor with which the laws of China enforce obedience to parents.

A man accused of theft confessed it, and was sentenced to wear the cangue—a board about three feet square—around his neck for a certain time, perhaps several weeks, on which his name was painted in large characters, with the crime of 382 which he was guilty, that all who saw him might know that he was a thief!

These were petty cases, such as might be disposed of in any police court. But now appeared a greater offender. A man was led in with a chain around his neck, who had the reputation of being a noted malefactor. He was charged with both robbery and murder. The case had been pending a long time. The crime, or crimes, had been committed four years ago. The man had been brought up repeatedly, but as no amount of pressure could make him confess, he could not be executed. He was now to have another hearing. He knelt down on the hard stone floor, and heard the accusation, which he denied as he had done before, and loudly protested his innocence. The judge, who was a man of middle age, with a fine intellectual countenance, was in no haste to condemn, but listened patiently. He was in a mild, persuasive mood, perhaps the more so because he was refreshing himself as a Chinaman likes to do. As he sat listening, he took several small cups of tea. A boy in attendance brought him also his pipe, filled with tobacco, which he put in his mouth, and took two or three puffs, when he handed it back; and the boy cleaned it, filled it, and lighted it again. With such support to his physical weakness, who could not listen patiently to a man who was on his knees before him pleading for his life? But the case was a very bad one. It had been referred back to the village in which the man was born, and the "elders," who form the local government in every petty commune in China, had inquired into the facts, and reported that he was a notorious offender, accused of no less than seven crimes—five robberies, one murder, and one maiming. This was a pretty strong indictment. But the man protested that he had been made the victim of a conspiracy to destroy him. The judge replied that it might be that he should be wrongfully accused by one enemy, but it was hardly possible that a hundred people of his native village 383 should combine to accuse him falsely. Their written report was read by the clerk, who then held it up before the man, that he might see it in white and black. Still he denied as before, and the judge, instead of putting him to the torture, simply remanded him to prison for further examination. In all these cases there was no eagerness to convict or to sentence the accused. They were listened to with patience, and apparently all proper force was allowed to what they had to say in their own defence.

This relieves a good deal the apparent severity of the Chinese code. It does not condemn without hearing. But, on the other hand, it does not cover up with fine phrases or foolish sentiment the terrible reality of crime. It believes in crime as an awful fact in human society, and in punishment as a repressive force that must be applied to keep society from destruction.

Next to the Yamun is the prison, in which are confined those charged with capital offences. We were admitted by paying a small fee to the keepers, and were at once surrounded by forty or fifty wretched objects, some of whom had been subjected to torture, and who held up their limbs which had been racked, and showed their bodies all covered with wounds, as an appeal to pity. We gave them some money to buy tobacco, as that is the solace which they crave next to opium, and hurried away.

But there is a place more terrible than the prison; it is the execution-ground. Outside the walls of Canton, between the city gate and the river, is a spot which may well be called Golgotha, the place of a skull. It is simply a dirty vacant lot, partly covered with earthenware pots and pans, a few rods long, on one side of which is a dead wall; but within this narrow space has been shed more blood than on any other spot of the earth's surface. Here those sentenced to death are beheaded. Every few days a gloomy procession files into the lane, and the condemned are ranged against the 384 wall on their knees, when an assistant pulls up their pinioned arms from behind, which forces their heads forward, and the executioner coming to one after another, cleaves the neck with a blow. A number of skulls were scattered about—of those whose bodies had been removed, but whose heads were left unburied. In the lane is the house of the executioner—a thick, short-set man, in a greasy frock, looking like a butcher fresh from the shambles. Though a coarse, ugly fellow, he did not look, as one might suppose, like a monster of cruelty, but was simply a dull, stolid creature, who undertook this as he would any other kind of business, and cut off human heads with as little feeling as he would those of so many sheep. He picks up a little money by exhibiting himself and his weapon of death. He brought out his sword to show it to us. It was short and heavy, like a butcher's cleaver. I took it in my hand, and felt of the blade. It was dull, and rusted with stains of blood. He apologized for its appearance, but explained that it had not been used recently, and added that whenever it was needed for service, he sharpened it. I asked him how many heads he had cut off. He did not know—had not kept count—but supposed some hundreds. Sometimes there were "two or three tens"—that is, twenty or thirty—at once. Rev. Mr. Preston told me he had seen forty cut off in one morning. Dr. Williams had such a horror of blood that he could never be present at an execution, but he one day saw nearly two hundred headless trunks lying here, with their heads, which had just been severed from the bodies, scattered over the ground. Mr. Preston had seen heads piled up six feet high. It ought to be said, however, that in ordinary times no criminal convicted of a capital offence can be executed anywhere in the province (which is a district of nearly eighty thousand square miles, with twenty millions of inhabitants) except in Canton, and with the cognizance of the governor.

The carnival of blood was during the Taiping rebellion in 385 1855. That rebellion invaded this province; it had possession of Whampoa, and even endangered Canton. When it was suppressed, it was stamped out in blood. There were executions by wholesale. All who had taken part in it were sentenced to death, and as the insurgents were numbered by tens of thousands, the work went on for days and weeks and months. The stream of blood never ceased to flow. The rebels were brought up the river in boat-loads. The magistrates in the villages of the province were supposed to have made an examination. It was enough that they were found with arms in their hands. There were no prisons which could hold such an army, and the only way to deal with them was to execute them. Accordingly every day a detachment was marched out to the execution ground, where forty or fifty men would be standing with coffins, to receive and carry off the bodies. They were taken out of the city by a certain gate, and here Dr. Williams engaged a man to count them as they passed, and thus he kept the fearful roll of the dead; and comparing it with the published lists he found the number executed in fourteen months to be eighty-one thousand! An Aceldama indeed! It is not, then, too much to say that taking the years together, within this narrow ground blood enough has been shed to float the Great Eastern.

But decapitation is a simple business compared with that which the executioner has sometimes to perform. I observed standing against the wall some half a dozen rude crosses, made of bamboo, which reminded me that death is sometimes inflicted by crucifixion. This mode of punishment is reserved for the worst malefactors. They are not nailed to the cross to die a lingering death, but lashed to it by ropes, and then slowly strangled or cut to pieces. The executioner explained coolly how he first cut out an eye, or sliced off a piece of the cheek or the breast, and so proceeded deliberately, till with one tremendous stroke the body was cleft in twain. 386

Thus Chinese law illustrates its idea of punishment, which is to inflict it with tremendous rigor. It not only holds to capital punishment, but sometimes makes a man in dying suffer a thousand deaths. A gentleman at Fuhchau told me that he had seen a criminal starved to death. A man who had robbed a woman, using violence, was put into a cage in a public place, with his head out of a hole, exposed to the sun, and his body extended, and there left to die by inches. The foreign community were horror-struck; the consuls protested against it, but in vain. He lingered four days before death came to put an end to his agony. There were about twenty so punished at Canton in 1843, for incendiarism.

We shudder at these harrowing tales of "man's inhumanity to man." But we must not take the pictures of these terrible scenes, as if they were things which stare in the eyes of all beholders, or which give the fairest impression of Chinese law; as if this were a country in which there is nothing but suffering and crime. On the contrary, it is pre-eminently a land of peace and order. The Chinese are a law-abiding people. Because a few hundred bad men are found in a city of a million inhabitants, and punished with severity, we must not suppose that this is a lawless community. Those who would charge this, may at least be called on to point out a better-governed city in Europe.

This fearful Draconian code can at least claim that it is successful in suppressing crime. The law is a terror to evil-doers. The proof of this is that order is so well preserved. This great city of Canton is as quiet, and life and property are as safe, as in London or New York. Yet it is done with no display of force. There is no obtrusion of the police or the military, as in Paris or Vienna. The gates of the city are shut at night, and the Tartar soldiers make their rounds; but the armed hand is not always held up before the public eye. The Chinese Government has learned to make its authority 387 respected without the constant display of military power.

The Chinese are the most industrious people on the face of the earth, for only by constant and universal industry can a population of four hundred millions live. When such masses of human beings are crowded together, the struggle for existence is so great, that it is only by keeping the millions of hands busy that food can be obtained for the millions of mouths. The same necessity enforces peace with each other, and therefore from necessity, as well as from moral considerations, this has been the policy of China from the beginning. Its whole political economy, taught long since by Confucius, is contained in two words—Industry and Peace. By an adherence to these simple principles, the Empire has held together for thousands of years, while every other nation has gone to pieces. China has never been an aggressive nation, given to wars of conquest. It has indeed attempted to subdue the tribes of Central Asia, and holds a weak sway over Turkistan and Thibet; while Corea and Loochoo and Annam still acknowledge a kind of fealty, now long since repudiated by Burmah and Siam. But in almost all cases it has "stooped to conquer," and been satisfied with a sort of tribute, instead of attempting roughly to enforce its authority, which would lead to perpetual wars. Thus has China followed the lesson of Confucius, furnishing the most stupendous example on the face of the earth of the advantage to nations of industry and peace.

The reason for this general respect and obedience to law may be found in another fact, which is to the immortal honor of the Chinese. It is the respect and obedience to parents. In China the family is the foundation of the state; and the very first law of society, as well as of religion, is: "Honor thy father and mother." In no country in the world is this law so universally obeyed. The preservation of China amid the wreck of other kingdoms is largely due to its respect to 388 the Fifth Commandment, which has proved literally "a commandment with promise;"—the promise, "that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," having been fulfilled in the preservation of this country from age to age.

As a consequence of this respect to parents, which imposes an authority over children, and binds them together, the family feeling in China is very strong. This, however noble in itself, has some evil effects, as it often separates the people of a town or village by feuds and divisions, which are as distinct, and as jealous and hostile, as the old Highland clans in Scotland. This interferes with the administration of justice. If a crime is committed, all of one's clan are in league to screen and protect the offender, while the rival clan is as eager to pursue and destroy him. Woe to the man who is accused, and who has no friend! But the disposition to stand by each other manifests itself in many acts of mutual helpfulness, of devotion and personal sacrifice.

Carrying out the same idea, the nation is only a larger family, and the government a patriarchal despotism. There is no representative government, no Congress or Parliament; and yet there is a kind of local government, like that of our New England towns. Every village is governed by "elders," who are responsible for its police, who look after rascals, and who also aid in assessing the taxes for the local and general governments. By this union of a great central power with local administration of local affairs, the government has managed to hold together hundreds of millions of human beings, and make its authority respected over a large part of Asia.

This family feeling moulds even the religion of China, which takes the form of a worship of ancestors. Those who have given them existence are not lost when they have ceased to breathe. They are still the links of being by which, and through which, the present living world came from the hand of the Creator, and are to be reverenced with a devotion next 389 to that felt for the Author of being himself. Their memory is still cherished. Every household has its objects of devotion; every dwelling has its shrine sacred to the memory of the dead; and no temple or pagoda is more truly holy ground than the cemeteries, often laid out on hill-sides, where reposes the dust of former generations. To these they make frequent pilgrimages. Every year the Emperor of China goes in state to visit the tombs of his ancestors. The poor emigrant who leaves for America or Australia, gives a part of his earnings, so that, in case of death, his body shall be brought back to China to sleep in the soil that contains the dust of his ancestors. Thus the living are joined to the dead; and those who have vanished from the earth, from the silent hills where they sleep, still rule the most populous kingdom of the world.

One cannot leave China without a word in regard to its relations with other countries. In this respect a great change has taken place within this generation. The old exclusiveness is broken down. This has come by war, and war which had not always a justifiable origin, however good may have been its effects. The opium war in 1841 is not a thing to be remembered by England with pride. The cause of that war was an attempt by the Chinese government in 1839 to prevent the English importation of opium. Never did a government make a more determined effort to remove a terrible curse that was destroying its population. Seeing the evil in all its enormity, it roused itself like a strong man to shake it off. It imposed heavy penalties on the use of opium, even going so far as to put some to death. But what could it do so long as foreigners were selling opium in Canton, right before its eyes? It resolved to break up the trade, to stop the importation. As a last resort, it drew a cordon around the factories of the foreign merchants, and brought them to terms by a truly Eastern strategy. It did not attack them, nor touch a hair of their heads; but it assumed that it had 390 at least the right to exercise its authority over its own people, by forbidding them to have any intercourse with foreigners. Immediately every Chinese servant left them. No man could be had, for love or money, to render them any service, or even to sell them food. Thus they were virtually prisoners. This state of siege lasted about six weeks. At the end of that time the British merchants surrendered all the opium, at the order of their consular chief, Charles Elliot, for him to hand it over to the Chinese; it amounted to 20,283 chests (nearly three million pounds in weight), mostly on board ship at the time. The Chinese received it at the mouth of the river, near the Bogue Forts, and there destroyed it, by throwing it overboard, as our fathers destroyed the tea in Boston harbor. To make sure work of it, lest it should be recovered and used, they broke open the chests and mixed it thoroughly with salt water. As it dissolved in the sea, it killed great quantities of fish, but that opium at least never killed any Chinamen.

This brought on war. Much has been said of other causes, but no one familiar with affairs in the East doubts that the controlling motive was a desire to force upon China the trade in opium which is one chief source of the revenue of India.

The war lasted two years, and ended in a complete victory for the foreigners. The Bogue Forts were bombarded, and foreign ships forced their way up the river. Canton was ransomed just as it was to have been attacked, but Amoy, Ningpo, Shanghai, and Chinkiang were assaulted and captured. The war was finally terminated in 1842 by a treaty, by the terms of which China paid to England six millions of dollars for the opium which had been destroyed, and opened five ports to foreign trade. This, though a gain to European and Indian commerce, was a heavy blow to Canton, which, instead of being the only open port, was but one of five. The trade, which before had been concentrated here, now 391 spread along the coast to Amoy, Fuhchau, Ningpo, and Shanghai.

But the Ruler of Nations brings good out of evil. Wrong as was the motive of the opium war, it cannot be doubted that sooner or later war must have come from the attitude of China toward European nations. For ages it had maintained a policy of exclusiveness. The rest of the world were "outside barbarians." It repelled their advances, not only with firmness, but almost with insult. While keeping this attitude of resistance, as foreign commerce was continually knocking at its doors, a collision was inevitable. Recognizing this, we cannot but regret that it should have occurred for a cause in which China was in the right, and England in the wrong.

In the wars of England and France with China, Europe has fought with Asia, and has gotten the victory. Will it be content with what it has gained, or will it press still further, and force China to the wall? This is the question which I heard asked everywhere in Eastern Asia. The English merchants find their interests thwarted by the obstinate conservatism of the Chinese, and would be glad of an opportunity for a naval or military demonstration—an occasion which the Chinese are very careful not to give. There is an English fleet at Hong Kong, a few hours' sail from Canton. The admiral who was to take command came out with us on the steamer from Singapore. He was a gallant seaman, and seemed like a man who would not willingly do injustice; and yet I think his English blood would rise at the prospect of glory, if he were to receive an order from London to transfer his fleet to the Canton River, and lay it abreast of the city, or to force his way up the Pei-ho. The English merchants would hail such an appearance in these waters. Not content with the fifteen ports which they have now, they want the whole of China opened to trade. But the Chinese think they have got enough of it, and to any 392 further invasion oppose a quiet but steady resistance. The English are impatient. They want to force an entrance, and to introduce not only the goods of Manchester, but all the modern improvements—to have railroads all over China, as in India, and steamers on all the rivers; and they think it very unreasonable that the Chinese object. But there is another side to this question. Such changes would disturb the whole internal commerce of China. They would throw out of employment, not thousands nor tens of thousands, but millions, who would perish in such an economical and industrial revolution as surely as by the waters of a deluge. An English missionary at Canton told me that it would not be possible to make any sudden changes, such as would be involved in the general introduction of railroads, or of labor-saving machines in place of the labor of human hands, without inflicting immense suffering. There are millions of people who now keep their heads just above water, and that by standing on their toes and stretching their necks, who would be drowned if it should rise an inch higher. The least agitation of the waters, and they would be submerged. Can we wonder that they hesitate to be sacrificed, and beg their government to move slowly?

America has had no part in the wars with China, although it is said that in the attack on the forts at the mouth of the Pei-ho, when the English ships were hard pressed, American sailors went on board of one of them, and volunteered to serve at the guns, whether from pure love of the excitement of battle, or because they felt, as Commodore Tatnall expressed it, that "blood was thicker than water," is not recorded.[12] American sailors and soldiers will never be wanting 393 in any cause which concerns their country's interest and honor. But hitherto it has been our good fortune to come into no armed collision with the Chinese, and hence the American name is in favor along the coast. Our country is represented, not so much by ships of war as by merchants and missionaries. The latter, though few in number, by their wisdom as well as zeal, have done much to conciliate favor and command respect. They are not meddlers nor mischief-makers. They do not belong to the nation that has forced opium upon China, though often obliged to hear the taunt that is hurled against the whole of the English-speaking race. In their own quiet spheres, they have labored to diffuse knowledge and to exhibit practical Christianity. They have opened schools and hospitals, as well as churches. In Canton, a generation ago, Dr. Peter Parker opened a hospital, which is still continued, and which receives about nine hundred 394 every year into its wards, besides some fifteen thousand who are treated at the doors. For twenty years it was in charge of Dr. Kerr, who nearly wore himself out in his duties; and is now succeeded by Dr. Carrow, a young physician who left a good practice in Jersey City to devote himself to this work. Hundreds undergo operation for the stone—a disease quite common in the South, but which Chinese surgery is incompetent to treat—and who are here rescued from a lingering death. That is the way American Christianity should be represented in China. In Calcutta I saw the great opium ships bound for Hong Kong. Let England have a monopoly of that trade, but let America come to China with healing in one hand and the Gospel in the other.

Nor is this all which American missionaries have done. They have rendered a service—not yet noticed as it should be—to literature, and in preparing the way for the intercourse of China with other nations. An American missionary, Dr. Martin, is President of the University at Peking, established by the government. Dr. S. Wells Williams, in the more than forty years of his residence in China, has prepared a Chinese-English Dictionary, which I heard spoken of everywhere in the East as the best in existence. In other ways his knowledge of the language and the people has been of service both to China and to America, during his twenty-one years' connection with the Legation. And if American diplomacy has succeeded in gaining many substantial advantages for our country, while it has skilfully avoided wounding the susceptibilities of the Chinese, the success is due in no small degree to this modest American missionary.

De Quincey said if he were to live in China, he should go mad. No wonder. The free English spirit could not be so confined. There is something in this enormous population, weighed down with the conservatism of ages, that oppresses the intellect. It is a forced stagnation. China is a boundless and a motionless ocean. Its own people may not feel it, 395 but one accustomed to the free life of Europe looks upon it as a vast Dead Sea, in whose leaden waters nothing can live.

But even this Dead Sea is beginning to stir with life. There is a heaving, as when the Polar Ocean breaks up, and the liberated waves sweep far and wide—

"Swinging low with sullen roar."

Such is the sound which is beginning to be heard on all the shores of Asia. Since foreigners have begun to come into China, the Chinese go abroad more than ever before. There is developed a new spirit of emigration. Not only do they come to California, but go to Australia, and to all the islands of Southern Asia. They are the most enterprising as well as the most industrious of emigrants. They have an extraordinary aptitude for commerce. They are in the East what the Jews are in other parts of the world—the money-changers, the mercantile class, the petty traders; and wherever they come, they are sure to "pick up" and to "go ahead." Who can put bounds to such a race, that not content with a quarter of Asia, overflows so much of the remaining parts of the Eastern hemisphere?

On our Pacific Coast the Chinese have appeared as yet only as laborers and servants, or as attempting the humblest industries. Their reception has not been such as we can regard with satisfaction and pride. Poor John Chinaman! Patient toiler on the railroad or in the mine, yet doomed to be kicked about in the land whose prosperity he has done so much to promote. There is something very touching in his love for his native country—a love so strong that he desires even in death to be carried back to be buried in the land which gave him birth. Some return living, only to tell of a treatment in strange contrast with that which our countrymen have received in China, as well as in violation of the solemn obligations of treaties. We cannot think of this cruel persecution but with indignation at our country's shame. 396

No one can visit China without becoming interested in the country and its people. There is much that is good in the Chinese, in their patient industry, and in their strong domestic feeling. Who can but respect a people that honor their fathers and mothers in a way to furnish an example to the whole Christian world? who indeed exaggerate their reverence to such a degree that they even worship their ancestors? The mass of the people are miserably poor, but they do not murmur at their lot. They take it patiently, and even cheerfully; for they see in it a mixture of dark and bright. In their own beautiful and poetical saying: "The moon shines bright amid the firs." May it not only shine through the gloom of deep forests, but rise higher and higher, till it casts a flood of light over the whole Eastern sky!




We left Hong Kong on the 15th of May, just one year from the day that we sailed from New York on our journey around the world. As we completed these twelve months, we embarked on our twelfth voyage. After being so long on foreign ships—English and French and Dutch: Austrian Lloyds and Messageries Maritimes—it was pleasant to be at last on one that bore the flag of our country, and bore it so proudly as "The City of Peking." As we stepped on her deck, and looked up at the stars above us, we felt that we were almost on the soil of our country. As we were now approaching America, though still over six thousand miles away, and nearly ten thousand from New York, we thought it was time to telegraph that we were coming, but found that "the longest way round was the nearest way home." The direct cable across the Bay of Bengal, from Penang to Madras, was broken, and the message had to go by Siberia. It seemed indeed a long, long way, but the lightning regards neither space nor time. Swift as thought the message flew up the coast of China to Siberia, and then across the whole breadth of two continents, Asia and Europe, and dived under the Atlantic, to come up on the shores of America.

The harbor of Hong Kong was gay with ships decorated with flags, and the British fleet was still firing salutes, which seemed to be its daily pastime, as the City of Peking began to move. With a grand sweep she circled round the bay, and then running swiftly into a winding passage among 398 islands, through which is the entrance to the harbor, steamed out on the broad Pacific.

We had intended to go to Shanghai, and through the Inland Sea of Japan, but we sacrificed even such a pleasure (or rather left it till the next time) to take advantage of this noble ship, that was bound direct for Yokohama. Our course took us through the Channel of Formosa, in full sight of the island, which has had an unenviable notoriety from the treatment of the crews of ships wrecked on its inhospitable coast. Leaving it far behind, in six days we were running along the shores of Japan, and might have seen the snowy head of Fusiyama, had it not been wrapped in clouds. The next morning we left behind the long roll of the Pacific, and entered the Bay of Yedo—a gulf fifty miles deep, whose clear, sparkling waters shone in the sunlight. Fishing-boats were skimming the tranquil surface. The Japanese are born to the sea. All around the coast they live upon it, and are said to derive from it one-third of their subsistence. The shores, sloping from the water's edge, are sprinkled with Japanese villages. Some thirty miles from the sea we pass Mississippi Bay, so called from the flag-ship of Commodore Perry, which lay here with his fleet while he was conducting the negotiations for the opening of Japan; the headland above it bears the name of Treaty Point. Rounding this point, we see before us in the distance a forest of shipping, and soon cast anchor in the harbor of Yokohama.

Yokohama has a pleasant look from the sea, an impression increased as we are taken off in a boat, and landed on the quay—a sea wall, which keeps out the waves, and furnishes a broad terrace for the front of the town. Here is a wide street called "The Bund," on which stand the principal hotels. From our rooms we look out directly on the harbor. Among the steamers from foreign ports, are a number of ships of war, among which is the Tennessee, the flagship of our Asiatic squadron, bearing the broad pennant of Admiral 399 Reynolds, whom we had known in America, and indeed had bidden good-by at our own door, as we stepped into the carriage to drive to the steamer. We parted, hoping to meet in Asia, a wish which was now fulfilled. He was very courteous to us during our stay, sending his boat to bring us on board, and coming often with his excellent wife to see us on shore. It gave us a pleasant feeling of nearness to home, to have a great ship full of our countrymen close at hand.

In the rear of the town the hill which overlooks the harbor, bears the foreign name of "The Bluff." Here is quite an American colony, including several missionary families, in which we became very much at home before we left Japan.

Yokohama has an American newness and freshness. It is only a few years since it has come into existence as a place of any importance. It was only a small fishing village until the opening of Japan, since which it has become the chief port of foreign commerce. It is laid out in convenient streets, which are well paved, and kept clean, and altogether the place has a brisk and lively air, as of some new and thriving town in our own country.

But just at this moment we are not so much interested to see American improvements as to see the natives on their own soil. Here they are in all their glory—pure-blooded Asiatics—and yet of a type that is not Mongolian or Malayan or Indian. The Jap is neither a "mild Hindoo" nor a "heathen Chinee." His hair is shaved from his head in a fashion quite his own, making a sort of triangle on the crown; and no long pigtail decorates his person behind. We recognize him at once, for never was a human creature so exactly like his portrait. We see every day the very same figures that we have seen all our lives on tea-cups and saucers, and fans and boxes. Our first acquaintance with them was as charioteers, in which they take the place, not of drivers, but of horses; for the jin-riki-sha (literally, a carriage drawn by man power) has no other "team" harnessed to it. The vehicle is exactly 400 like a baby carriage, only made for "children of a larger growth." It is simply an enlarged perambulator, on two wheels, drawn by a coolie; and when one takes his seat in it, he cannot help feeling at first as if he were a big baby, whom his nurse had tucked up and was taking out for an airing. But one need not be afraid of it, lest he break down the carriage, or tire out the steed that draws it. No matter how great your excellency may be, the stout fellow will take up the thills, standing where the pony or the donkey ought to be, and trot off with you at a good pace, making about four miles an hour. At first the impression was irresistibly ludicrous, and we laughed at ourselves to see what a ridiculous figure we cut. Indeed we did not quite recover our sobriety during the three weeks that we were in Japan. But after all it is a very convenient way of getting about, and one at least is satisfied that his horses will not run away, though he must not be too sure of that, for I sometimes felt, especially when going down hill, that they had got loose, and would land me with a broken head at the bottom.

But Yokohama is only the gate of Yedo (or Tokio, as it is the fashion to call it now, but I keep to the old style as more familiar), of which we had read even in our school geographies as one of the most populous cities of Asia. The access is very easy, for it is only eighteen miles distant, and there is a railroad, so that it is but an hour's ride. While on our way that morning, we had our first sight of Fusiyama. Though seventy miles distant, its dome of snow rose on the horizon sharp and clear, like the Jungfrau at Interlachen.

Arrived at Yedo, the station was surrounded by jinrikishas, whose masters were kept in better order than the cabmen of New York. Wishing to appear in the capital with proper dignity, we took two men instead of one, so that each had a full team; and fine young bloods they were, full of spirit, that fairly danced with us along the street, in such gay fashion that my clerical garb was hardly sufficient to preserve my 401 clerical character. We first trotted off to the American Minister's, Mr. Bingham's, who received us with all courtesy, and sent for the interpreter of the Legation, Rev. Mr. Thompson, an American missionary, who kindly offered to be our guide about the city, and gave up the day to us. With such a cicerone, we started on our rounds. He took us first to what is called the Summer Palace, though it is not a palace at all, but only a park, to which the Mikado comes once in a while to take his royal pleasure. There are a few rest-houses scattered about, where one, whether king or commoner, might find repose; or strolling under the shade of trees, and looking off upon the tranquil sea. Next we rode to the Tombs of the Tycoons, where, under gilded shrines, beneath temples and pagodas, sleep the royal dead. The grounds are large and the temples exquisitely finished, with the fine lacquer work for which the Japanese are famous; so that we had to take off our shoes, and step very softly over the polished floors. Riding on through endless streets, our friend took us to a hill, ascended by a long flight of steps, on the top of which, in an open space, stood a temple, an arbor, and a tea-house. This point commands an extensive view of Yedo. It is a city of magnificent distances, spreading out for miles on every side; and yet, except for its extent, it is not at all imposing, for it is, like Canton, a mere wilderness of houses, relieved by no architectural magnificence—not a single lofty tower or dome rising above the dead level. But, unlike Canton, the city has very broad streets, sometimes crossed by a river or a canal, spanned by high, arched bridges. The principal business street is much wider than Broadway, but it has not a shop along its whole extent that would make any show even in "The Bowery." The houses are built only one story high, because of earthquakes which are frequent in Japan, caused, as the people believe, by a huge fish which lies under the island, and that shakes it whenever he tosses his head or lashes his tail. The houses are of such slight 402 construction that they burn like tinder; and it is not surprising that the city is often swept by destructive fires. But if the whole place were thus swept away, or if it were shaken to pieces by an earthquake in the night, the people would pick themselves up in the morning and restore their dwellings, with not much more difficulty than soldiers, whose tents had been blown down by the wind, would find in pitching them again and making another camp. Some of the government buildings are of more stately proportions, and there are open grounds in certain quarters of the city, adorned with magnificent trees, like the ancient oaks which cast their shadows on the smooth-shaven lawns of England, and give to English parks such an air of dignity and repose.

The Castle of the late Tycoon, which may be said to be the heart of the city, around which it clusters, is more of a fortress than a palace. There is an immense enclosure surrounded by a deep moat (whose sides are very pretty, banked with rich green turf), and with picturesque old towers standing at intervals along the walls. In the rear of the grounds of the old Castle is the much less ambitious residence of the Mikado, where he is duly guarded, though he does not now, as formerly, keep himself invisible, as if he were a divinity descended from the skies, who in mysterious seclusion ruled the affairs of men.

By this time we were a little weary of sight-seeing, and drew up at a Japanese tea-house, to take our tiffin. The place was as neat as a pin, and the little maids came out to receive us, and bowed themselves to the ground, touching the earth with their foreheads, in token of the great honor that had come to their house—homage that we received with becoming dignity, and went on our way rejoicing.

The pleasantest sights that we saw to-day were two which showed the awakened intelligence and spirit of progress among the people. These were the Government College, with two hundred students, manned in part by American professors (where we found our countryman Dr. Veeder 403 in his lecture-room, performing experiments); and an old Temple of Confucius which has been turned into a library and reading-room. Here was a large collection of books and periodicals, many from foreign countries, over which a number of persons were quietly but studiously engaged. The enclosure was filled with grand old trees, and had the air of an academic grove, whose silent shades were devoted to study and learning.

After this first visit to the capital, we took a week for an excursion into the interior, which gave us a sight of the country and of Japanese life. This we could not have made with any satisfaction but for our friends the missionaries. They kindly sketched the outlines of a trip to the base of Fusiyama, seventy miles from Yedo. It was very tempting, but what could we do without guides or interpreters? We should be lost like babes in the wood. It occurred to us that such a journey might do them good. Dr. Brown and Dr. Hepburn, the oldest missionaries in Japan, had been closely confined for months in translating the Scriptures, and needed some relief. A little country air would give them new life; so we invited them to be our guests, and we would make a week of it. We finally prevailed upon them to "come apart and rest awhile," not in a "desert," but in woodland shades, among the mountains and by the sea. Their wives came with them, without whom their presence would have given us but half the pleasure it did. Thus encompassed and fortified with the best of companions, with a couple of English friends, we made a party of eight, which, with the usual impedimenta of provisions and a cook, and extra shawls and blankets, required eleven jinrikishas, with two men harnessed to each, making altogether quite a grand cavalcade, as we sallied forth from Yokohama on a Monday noon in "high feather." To our staid missionary friends it was an old story; but to us, strangers in the land, it was highly exciting to be thus starting off into the interior of Japan. The 404 country around Yokohama is hilly and broken. Our way wound through a succession of valleys rich with fields of rice and barley, while along the roads shrubberies, which at home are cultivated with great care, grew in wild profusion—the wisteria, the honeysuckle, and the eglantine. The succession of hill and valley gave to the country a variety and beauty which, with the high state of cultivation, reminded us of Java. As we mounted the hills we had glimpses of the sea, for we were skirting along the Bay of Yedo. After a few miles we came to an enchanting spot, which bears the ambitious title of the Plains of Heaven, yet which is not heaven, and is not even a plain—but a rolling country, in which hill and valley are mingled together, with the purple mountains as a background on one side and the blue waters on the other.

As we rode along, I thought how significant was the simple fact of such an excursion as this in a country, where a few years ago no foreigner's life was safe. On this very road, less than ten years since, an Englishman was cut down for no other crime than that of being a foreigner, and getting in the way of the high daimio who was passing. And now we jogged along as quietly, and with as little apprehension, as if we were riding through the villages of New England.

On our way lies a town which once bore a great name, Kamakura, where nine centuries ago lived the great Yoritomo, the Napoleon of his day, the founder of the military rule in the person of the Shogun (or Tycoon, a title but lately assumed), as distinguished from that of the Mikado. Here he made his capital, which was afterwards removed, and about three hundred years since fixed in Yedo; and Kamakura is left, like other decayed capitals, to live on the recollections of its former greatness. But no change can take away its natural beauty, in its sheltered valley near the sea.

A mile beyond, we came to the colossal image of Dai-Buts, or Great Buddha. It is of bronze, and though in a sitting 405 posture, is forty-four feet high. The hands are crossed upon the knees. We crawled up into his lap, and five of us sat side by side on his thumbs. We even went inside, and climbed up into his head, and proved by inspection that these idols, however colossal and imposing without, are empty within. There are no brains within their brazen skulls. The expression of the face is the same as in all statues of Buddha: that of repose—passive, motionless—as of one who had passed through the struggles of life, and attained to Nirvana, the state of perfect calm, which is the perfection of heavenly beatitude.

It was now getting towards sunset, and we had still five or six miles to go before we reached our resting-place for the night. As this was the last stage in the journey, our fleet coursers seemed resolved to show us what they could do. They had cast off all their garments, except a cloth around their loins, and straw sandals on their feet, so that they were stripped like Roman gladiators, and they put forth a speed as if racing in the arena. A connoisseur would admire their splendid physique. Their bodies were tattooed, like South Sea Islanders, which set out in bolder relief, as in savage warriors, their muscular development—their broad chests and brawny limbs. With no stricture of garments to bind them, their limbs were left free for motion. It was a study to see how they held themselves erect. With heads and chests thrown back, they balanced themselves perfectly. The weight of the carriage seemed nothing to them; they had only to keep in motion, and it followed. Thus we came rushing into the streets of Fujisawa, and drew up before the tea-house, where lodgings had been ordered for the night. The whole family turned out to meet us, the women falling on their knees, and bowing their heads till they touched the floor, in homage to the greatness of their guests.

And now came our first experience of a Japanese tea-house. If the jin-riki-sha is like a baby carriage, the tea-house 406 is like a baby house. It is small, built entirely of wood with sliding partitions, which can be drawn, like screens, to enclose any open space, and make it into a room. These partitions are of paper, so that of course the "chambers" are not very private. The same material is used for windows, and answers very well, as it softens the light, like ground glass. The house has always a veranda, so that the rooms are protected from the sun by the overhanging roof. The bedrooms are very small, but scrupulously clean, and covered with wadded matting, on which we lie down to sleep.

At Fujisawa is a temple, which is visited by the Mikado once or twice in the year. We were shown through his private rooms, and one or two of us even stretched ourselves upon his bed, which, however, was not a very daring feat, as it was merely a strip of matting raised like a low divan or ottoman, a few inches above the floor. The temples are not imposing structures, and have no beauty except that of position. They generally stand on a hill, and are approached by an avenue or a long flight of steps, and the grounds are set out with trees, which are left to grow till they sometimes attain a majestic height and breadth. In front of this temple stands a tree, which we recognized by its foliage as the Salisburia adiantifolia—a specimen of which we had in America on our own lawn, but there it was a shrub brought from the nursery, while here it was like a cedar of Lebanon. It was said to be a thousand years old. Standing here, it was regarded as a sacred tree, and we looked up to it with more reverence than to the sombre temple behind, or the sleepy old bonzes who were sauntering idly about the grounds.

The next morning, as we started on our journey, we came upon the Tokaido, the royal road of Japan, built hundreds of years ago from Yedo to Kioto, to connect the political with the spiritual capital—the residence of the Tycoon with 407 that of the Mikado. It is the highway along which the daimios came in state to pay their homage to the Tycoon at Yedo, as of old subject-princes came to Rome. It is constructed with a good deal of skill in engineering, which is shown in carrying it over mountains, and in the building of bridges. Portions of the road are paved with blocks of stone like the Appian Way. But that which gives it a glory and majesty all its own, is its bordering of gigantic cedars—the Cryptomeria Japonica—which attain an enormous height, with gnarled and knotted limbs that have wrestled with the storms of centuries.

As we advance, the road comes out upon the sea, for we have crossed the peninsula which divides the Bay of Yedo from the Pacific, and are now on the shores of the ocean itself. How beautiful it seemed that day! It was the last of May, and the atmosphere was full of the warmth of early summer. The coast is broken by headlands shooting out into the deep, which enclose bays, where the soft, warm sunshine lingers as on the shores of the Mediterranean, and the waters of the mighty Pacific come gently rippling up the beach. So twixt sea and land, sunshine and shade, we sped gaily along to Odawara—another place which was once the residence of a powerful chief, whose castle is still there, though in ruins; its stones, if questioned of the past, might tell a tale like that of one of the castles on the Rhine. These old castles are the monuments of the same form of government, for the Feudal System existed in Japan as in Germany. The kingdom was divided into provinces, ruled by great daimios, who were like the barons of the Middle Ages, each with his armed retainers, who might be called upon to support the central government, yet who sometimes made war upon it. This Feudal System is now completely destroyed. As we were riding over the Tokaido, I pictured to myself the great pageants that had swept along so proudly in the days gone by. What would those old barons have thought if they 408 could have seen in the future an irruption of invaders from beyond the sea, and that even this king's highway should one day be trodden by the feet of outside barbarians?

At Odawara we dismissed our men, (who, as soon as they received their money, started off for Yokohama,) as we had to try another mode of transportation; for though we still kept the Tokaido, it ascends the mountains so steeply that it is impassable for anything on wheels, and we had to exchange the jinrikisha for the kago—a kind of basket made of bamboo, in which a man is doubled up and packed like a bundle, and so carried on men's shoulders. It would not answer badly if he had neither head nor legs. But his head is always knocking against the ridge-pole, and his legs have to be twisted under him, or "tied up in a bow-knot." This is the way in which criminals are carried to execution in China; but for one who has any further use for his limbs, it is not altogether agreeable. I lay passive for awhile, feeling as if I had been packed and salted down in a pork-barrel. Then I began to wriggle, and thrust out my head on one side and the other, and at last had to confess, like the Irishman who was offered the privilege of working his passage on a canal-boat and was set to leading a horse, that "if it were not for the honor of the thing, I had as lief walk." So I crawled out and unrolled myself, to see if my limbs were still there, for they were so benumbed that I was hardly conscious of their existence, and then straightening myself out, and taking a long bamboo reed, which is light and strong, lithe and springy, for an alpenstock, I started off with my companions. We all soon recovered our spirits, and

"Walked in glory and in joy

Along the mountain side,"

till at nightfall we halted in the village of Hakoné, a mountain retreat much resorted to by foreigners from Yedo and Yokohama. 409

Here we might have been in the Highlands of Scotland, for we were in the heart of mountains, and on the border of a lake. To make the resemblance more perfect, a Scotch mist hung over the hills, and rain pattered on the roof all night long, and half the next day. But at noon the clouds broke, and we started on our journey. Dr. and Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hepburn kept to their baskets, and were borne a long way round, while the rest of us were rowed across the lake, a beautiful sheet of water, nestled among the hills, like Loch Katrine. One of these hills is tunnelled for two miles, to carry the water under it to irrigate the rice fields of some twenty villages. Landing on the other side of the lake, we had before us a distance of eight or ten miles. Our coolies stood ready to carry us, but all preferred the freedom of their unfettered limbs. The mountain is volcanic, and on the summit is a large space made desolate by frequent eruptions, out of which issues smoke laden with the fumes of sulphur, and hot springs throw off jets of steam, and boil and bubble, and hiss with a loud noise, as if all the furies were pent up below, and spitting out their rage through the fissures of the rocks. The side of the mountain is scarred and torn, and yellow with sulphur, like the sides of Vesuvius. The natives call the place Hell. It was rather an abrupt transition, after crossing the Plains of Heaven a day or two before, to come down so soon to the sides of the pit.

Towards evening we came down into the village of Miya-no-shita (what musical names these Japanese have!), where our friends were waiting for us, and over a warm cup of tea talked over the events of the day. This is a favorite resort, for its situation among the mountains, with lovely walks on every side, and for its hot springs. Water is brought into the hotel in pipes of bamboo, so hot that one is able to bear it only after slowly dipping his feet into it, and thus sliding in by degrees, when the sensation is as of being scalded alive. But it takes the soreness out of one's limbs weary with a long 410 day's tramp; and after being steamed and boiled, we stretched ourselves on the clean mats of the tea-house, and slept the sleep of innocence and peace.

One cannot go anywhere in Japan without receiving a visit from the people, who, being of a thrifty turn, seize the occasion of a stranger's presence to drive a little trade. The skill of the Japanese is quite marvellous in certain directions: They make everything in petto, in miniature—the smallest earthenware; the tiniest cups and saucers. In these mountain villages they work, like the Swiss, in wooden-ware, and make exquisite and dainty little boxes and bureaus, as if for dolls, yet with complete sets of drawers, which could not but take the fancy of one who had little people at home waiting for presents. Besides the temptation of such trinkets, who could resist the insinuating manner of the women who brought them? The Japanese women are not pretty. They might be, were it not for their odious fashions. We have seen faces that would be quite handsome if left in their native, unadorned beauty. But fashion rules the world in Japan as in Paris. As soon as a woman is married her eyebrows are shaved off, and her teeth blackened, so that she cannot open her mouth without showing a row of ebony instead of ivory, which disfigures faces that would be otherwise quite winning. It says a good deal for their address, that with such a feature to repel, they can still be attractive. This is owing wholly to their manners. The Japanese men and women are a light-hearted race, and captivate by their gayety and friendliness. The women were always in a merry mood. As soon as they entered the room, before even a word was spoken, they began to giggle, as if our appearance were very funny, or as if this were the quickest way to be on good terms with us. The effect was irresistible. I defy the soberest man to resist it, for as soon as your visitor laughs, you begin to laugh from sympathy; and when you have got into a hearty laugh together, you are already acquainted, and 411 in friendly relations, and the work of buying and selling goes on easily. They took us captive in a few minutes. We purchased sparingly, thinking of our long journey; but our English friends bought right and left, till the next day they had to load two pack-horses with boxes to be carried over the mountains to Yokohama.

The next day was to bring the consummation of our journey, for then we were to go up into a mountain and see the glory of the Lord. A few miles distant is the summit of Otometoge, from which one obtains a view of Fusiyama, looking full in his awful face. We started with misgivings, for it had been raining, and the clouds still hung low upon the mountains. Our way led through hamlets clustered together in a narrow pass, like Alpine villages. As we wound up the ascent, we often stopped to look back at the valley below, from which rose the murmur of rushing waters, while the sides of the mountains were clothed with forests. These rich landscapes gave such enchantment to the scene as repaid us for all our weariness. At two o'clock we reached the top, and rushed to the brow to catch the vision of Fusiyama, but only to be disappointed. The mountain was there, but clouds covered his hoary head. In vain we watched and waited; still the monarch hid his face. Clouds were round about the throne. The lower ranges stood in full outline, but the heaven-piercing dome, or pyramid of snow, was wrapped in its misty shroud. That for which we had travelled seventy miles, we could not see at last.

Is it not often so in life? The moments that we have looked forward to with highest expectations, are disappointing when they come. We cross the seas, and journey far, to reach some mount of vision, when lo! the sight that was to reward us is hidden from our eyes; while our highest raptures come to us unsought, perhaps in visions of the night.

But our toilsome climb was not unrewarded. Below us lay a broad, deep valley, to which the rice fields gave a vivid 412 green, dotted with houses and villages, which were scattered over the middle distance, and even around the base of Fusiyama himself. Drinking in the full loveliness of the scene, we turned to descend, and after a three hours' march, footsore and weary, entered our Alpine village of Miya-no-shita.

The next morning we set out to return. Had the day shone bright and clear, we should have been tempted to renew our ascent of the day before. But as the clouds were still over the sky, we reluctantly turned away. Taking another route from that by which we came, we descended a deep valley, and winding around the heights which we had crossed before, at eleven o'clock reëntered Odawara.

And now we had done with our marching and our kagos, and once more took to our chariots, which drew up to the door—the men not exactly saddled and bridled, but stripped for the race, with no burden added to the burden of the flesh which they had to carry. A crowd collected to see us depart, and looked on admiringly as we went dashing through the long street of Odawara, and out upon the Tokaido. Our way, as before, led by the sea, which was in no tempestuous mood, but calm and tranquil, as if conscious that the summer was born. The day was not too warm, for the clouds that were flying over the sky shielded us from the direct rays of the sun; yet as we looked out now and then, the giant trees cast their shadows across our path. An American poet sings:

"What is so rare as a day in June?"

Surely nothing could be more rare or fair; but even the sky and the soft Summer air seemed more full of exquisite sensations to the strangers who were that day rolling along the shores of the Pacific, under the mighty cedars of the Tokaido.

Once more I was surprised and delighted at the agility and swiftness of the men who drew our jin-riki-shas. As we had but twenty-three miles to go in the afternoon, we took it 413 easily, and gave them first only a gentle trot of five miles to get their limbs a little supple, and then stopped for tiffin. Some of the men had on a loose jacket when we started, besides the girdle about the loins. This they took off and wrung out, for they were dripping with sweat, and wiped their brawny chests and limbs, and then took their chopsticks and applied themselves to their rice, while we went upstairs in the tea-house, and had our soup and other dishes served to us, sitting on the floor like Turks, and then stretched ourselves on the mats, weary with our morning's walk, and even with the motion of riding. While we were trying to get a little rest our men talked and laughed in the court below as if it were child's play to take us over the road. As we resumed our places and turned out of the yard, I had the curiosity to "time" their speed. I had a couple of athletic fellows, who thought me a mere feather in weight, and made me spin like a top as they bowled along. They started off at an easy trot, which they kept up, without breaking, mile after mile. I did not need to crack the whip, but at the word, away they flew through villages and over the open country, never stopping, but when they came to slightly rising ground, rushing up like mettlesome horses, and down at full speed. Thus they kept on, and never drew rein till they came to the bank of a river, which had to be crossed in a boat. I took out my watch. It was an hour and a quarter, and they had come seven miles and a half! This was doing pretty well. Of course they could not keep this up all day; yet they will go thirty miles from sunrise to sunset, and even forty, if spurred to it by a little extra pay. Sometimes, indeed, they go even at a still greater speed for a short distance. The first evening, as we came into Fujisawa, I do not doubt that the last fifteen minutes they were going at a speed of ten miles an hour, for they came in on a run. This is magnificent, but I cannot think it very healthful exercise. As gymnasts and prize-fighters grow old and die before their time, 414 so with these human racehorses. Dr. Hepburn says it exhausts them very early; that they break down with disease of the heart or lungs. They are very liable to rheumatism. This is partly owing to their carelessness. They get heated, and then expose their naked bodies to drafts of cold air, which of course stiffens their limbs, so that an old runner becomes like a foundered horse. But even with all care, the fatigue is very exhausting, and often brings on diseases which take them off in their prime. Yet you cannot restrain their speed, any more than that of colts that have never been broken. I often tried to check them, but they "champed at the bit," and after a few vain remonstrances I had to give it up, and "let them slide."

We did not stop at Fujisawa, where we had slept before, for it is a large and noisy town, but pushed on three miles farther, across a sandy beach to Enoshima, a little fishing village, which stands on a point of land jutting out into the sea, so that at high tide it is an island, and at low tide a peninsula. Indeed, it is not much more than a projecting rock of a few hundred acres, rising high out of the waters, and covered thickly with groves of trees, among which are several Buddhist temples. As we strolled along the top of the cliffs at sunset, there were a dozen points of view where we could sit under the shade of trees a hundred feet above the waves, as on the cliffs of the Isle of Wight, saying with Tennyson:

"Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!"

The next morning we rambled over the hills again, for it was a spot where one could but linger. The bay was alive with boats, as

"The fishers went sailing out into the West."

On the shore were divers, who plunged from the rocks into 415 deep water, to bring up shells and coral for us, and a sort of sponge peculiar to this country, with spicules like threads of spun glass. Under the cliff is a long cave, hollowed out by the waves, with an arch overhead like a vaulted roof. Thus under ground or above ground we wandered hour after hour.

But all things pleasant must have an end. The week was gone; it was Saturday noon: and so reluctantly leaving both the mountains and the sea, and taking to our chariots once more, we struck into the Tokaido, and in four hours were rolling along the Bund at Yokohama.

Three days after we made a second visit to Yedo, to visit an American gentleman who held a position in the Foreign Office, and spent a night at his pretty Japanese house in the Government grounds. Here being, as it were, in the interior of the State Department, we got some European news; among which was the startling intelligence of a revolution in Turkey, and that Abdul Aziz had been deposed!

In our second excursion about the city, as we had long distances to traverse, we took two prancing bucks to each jinrikisha, who ran us such a rig through the streets of Yedo as made us think of John Gilpin when he rode to London town. The fellows were like wild colts, so full of life that they had to kick it off at the heels. Sometimes one pulled in front while the other pushed behind, but more often they went tandem, the one in advance drawing by a cord over his shoulder. The leader was so full of spring that he fairly bounded over the ground, and if we came to a little elevation, or arched bridge, he sprang into the air like a catamount, while his fellow behind, though a little more stiff, as a "wheel horse" ought to be, bore himself proudly, tossing up his head, and throwing out his chest, and never lagged for an instant. C—— was delighted, nothing could go too fast for her; but whether it was fear for my character or for my head, I had serious apprehension that I should be "smashed" like Chinese crockery, and poked my steeds in the rear with my umbrella 416 to signify that I was entirely satisfied with their performances, and that they need not go any faster!

While in Yedo we attended a meeting of missionaries, English, Scotch, and American, in a distant part of the city, and in the evening paid a visit to Prof. Verbeck, who has been here so long that he is an authority on all Japanese matters. It was eight o'clock when we set out to return to our friends in the Foreign Office, and we bade our men take us through the main streets, that we might have a view of Yedo by night. The distance was some three miles, the greater part through the principal street. It was near the time of the full moon, but fortunately she was hidden to-night by clouds, for even her soft radiance could not give such animation and picturesqueness to the scene as the lights of the city itself. The broad street for two miles was in a flare of gas-light, like one of the great streets of Paris. The shops were open and lighted; added to which were hundreds (perhaps thousands) of jin-riki-shas, each with its Chinese lantern, glancing two and fro, like so many fireflies on a summer night, making a scene such as one reads of in the Arabian Nights, but as I had never witnessed before.

But that which is of most interest to a stranger in Japan, is not Yedo or Fusiyama, but the sudden revolution which has taken place in its relations with other countries, and in its internal condition. This is one of the most remarkable events in history, which, in a few years, has changed a whole nation, so that from being the most isolated, the most exclusive, and the most rigidly conservative, even in Asia, it has become the most active and enterprising; the most open to foreign influences; the most hospitable to foreign ideas, and the most ready to introduce foreign improvements. This change has taken Japan out of the ranks of the non-progressive nations, to place it, if not in the van of modern improvement, at least not very far in the rear. It has taken it out of the stagnant life of Asia, to infuse into its veins the life 417 of Europe and America. In a word, it has, as it were, unmoored Japan from the coast of Asia, and towed it across the Pacific, to place it alongside of the New World, to have the same course of life and progress.

It is a singular fact, which, as it has united our two nations in the past, ought to unite us in the future, that the opening of Japan came from America. It would have come in time from the natural growth of the commerce of the world, but the immediate occasion was the settlement of California. The first emigration, consequent on the discovery of gold, was in 1849; the treaty with Japan in 1854. As soon as there sprang up an American Empire on our Western coast, there sprang up also an American commerce on the Pacific. Up to that time, except the whalers from New Bedford that went round Cape Horn, to cast their harpoons in the North Pacific, or an occasional vessel to the Sandwich Islands, or that brought a cargo of tea from China, there were few American ships in the Pacific. But now it was ploughed by fleets of ships, and by great lines of steamers. The Western coast of America faced the Eastern coast of Asia, and there must be commerce between them. Japan lay in the path to China, and it was inevitable that there must be peaceful intercourse, or there would be armed collision. The time had come when the policy of rigid exclusion could not be permitted any longer. Of course Japan had the right which belongs to any independent power, to regulate its commerce with foreign nations. But there were certain rights which belonged to all nations, and which might be claimed in the interest of humanity. If an American ship, in crossing the Pacific on its way to China, were shipwrecked on the shores of Japan, the sailors who escaped the perils of the sea had the right to food and shelter—not to be regarded as trespassers or held as prisoners. Yet there had been instances in which such crews had been treated as captives, and shut up in prison. In one instance they were exhibited in cages. If they had fallen among 418 Barbary pirates, they could not have been treated with greater severity. This state of things must come to an end; and in gently forcing the issue, our government led the way. As English ships had broken down the wall of China, so did an American fleet open the door of Japan, simply by an attitude of firmness and justice; by demanding nothing but what was right, and supporting it by an imposing display of force. Thus Japan was opened to the commerce of America, and through it of the world, without shedding a drop of blood.

The result has been almost beyond belief. A quarter of a century ago no foreign ship could anchor in these waters. And now here, in sight of the spot where lay the fleet of Commodore Perry, I see a harbor full of foreign ships. It struck me strangely, as I sat at our windows in the Grand Hotel, and looked out upon the tranquil bay. There lay the Tennessee, not with guns run out and matches lighted, but in her peaceful dress, with flags flying, not only from her mast-head, but from all her yards and rigging. There were also several English ships of war, with Admiral Ryder in command, from whose flag-ship, as from the Tennessee, we heard the morning and evening gun, and the bands playing. The scene was most beautiful by moonlight, when the ships lay motionless, and the tall masts cast their shadows on the water, and all was silent, as in so many sleeping camps, save the bells which struck the hours, and marked the successive watches all night long. It seemed as if the angel of peace rested on the moonlit waters, and that nations would not learn war any more.

The barrier once broken down, foreign commerce began to enter the waters of Japan. American ships appeared at the open ports. As if to give them welcome, lighthouses were built at exposed points on the coast, so that they might approach without danger. A foreign settlement sprung up at Yokohama. By and by young men went abroad to see the world, 419 or to be educated in Europe or America, and came back with reports of the wealth and power of foreign nations. Soon a spirit of imitation took possession of Young Japan. These students affected even the fashions of foreign countries, and appeared in the streets of Yedo in coat and pantaloons, instead of the old Japanese dress; and ate no longer with chopsticks, but with knives and forks. Thus manners and customs changed, to be followed by a change in laws and in the government itself. Till now Japan had had a double-headed government, with two sovereigns and two capitals. But now there was a revolution in the country, the Tycoon was overthrown, and the Mikado, laying aside his seclusion and his invisibility, came from Kioto to Yedo, and assumed the temporal power, and showed himself to his people. The feudal system was abolished, and the proud daimios—who, with their clans of armed retainers, the samourai, or two-sworded men, were independent princes—were stripped of their estates, which sometimes were as large as German principalities, and forced to disband their retainers, and reduced to the place of pensioners of the government. The army and navy were reconstructed on European models. Instead of the old Japanese war-junks, well-armed frigates were seen in the Bay of Yedo—a force which has enabled Japan to take a very decided tone in dealing with China, in the matter of the island of Formosa; and made its power respected along the coast of Eastern Asia. We saw an embassy from Corea passing through the streets of Yokohama, on its way to Yedo, to pay homage to the Mikado, and enter into peaceful relations with Japan. A new postal system has been introduced, modelled on our own. In Yokohama one sees over a large building the sign "The Japanese Imperial Post-Office," and the postman goes his rounds, delivering his letters and papers as in England and America. There is no opposition to the construction of railroads, as in China. Steamers ply around the coast and through the Inland Sea; and telegraphs extend from one end 420 of the Empire to the other; and crossing the sea, connect Japan with the coast of Asia, and with all parts of the world. Better than all, the government has adopted a general system of national education, at the head of which is our own Prof. Murray; it has established schools and colleges, and introduced teachers from Europe and America. In Yedo I was taken by Prof. McCartee to see a large and noble institution for the education of girls, established under the patronage of the Empress. These are signs of progress that cannot be paralleled in any other nation in the world.

With such an advance in less than one generation, what may we not hope in the generation to come? In her efforts at progress, Japan deserves the sympathy and support of the whole civilized world. Having responded to the demand for commercial intercourse, she has a just claim to be placed on the footing of the most favored nations. Especially is she entitled to expect friendship from our country. As it fell to America to be the instrument of opening Japan, it ought to be our pride to show her that the new path into which we led her, is a path of peace and prosperity. Japan is our nearest neighbor on the west, as Ireland is on the east; and among nations, as among individuals, neighbors ought to be friends. It seemed a good token that the American Union Church in Yokohama should stand on the very spot where Commodore Perry made his treaty with Japan—the beginning, let us hope, of immeasurable good to both nations. As India is a part of the British Empire, and may look to England to secure for her the benefits of modern civilization, so the duty of stretching out a hand across the seas to Japan, may fairly be laid on the American church and the American people.

Our visit was coming to an end. A day or two we spent in the shops, buying photographs and bronzes, and in paying farewell visits to the missionaries, who had shown us so much kindness. The "parting cup" of tea we took at Dr. Hepburn's, and from his windows had a full view of Fusiyama, that 421 looked out upon us once more in all his glory. We were to embark that evening, to sail at daylight. Mr. John Ballagh and several ladies of "The Home," who had made us welcome in their pleasant circle, "accompanied us to the ship." We had a long row across the bay just as the moon was rising, covering the waters with silver, and making the great ships look like mighty shadows as they stood up against the sky. "On such a night" we took our farewell of Asia.

The next morning very early we were sailing down the bay of Yedo, and were soon out on the Pacific. But the coast remained long in sight, and we sat on deck watching the receding shores of a country which in three weeks had become so familiar and so dear; and when at last it sunk beneath the waters, we left our "benediction" on that beautiful island set in the Northern Seas.

We did not steer straight for San Francisco, although it is in nearly the same latitude as Yokohama, but turned north, following what navigators call a Great Circle, on the principle that as they get high up on the globe, the degrees of longitude are shorter, and thus they can "cut across" at the high latitudes. "It is nearer to go around the hill than to go over it." We took a prodigious sweep, following the Kuroshiwo, or Black Current, the Gulf Stream of the Pacific, which flows up the coast of Asia, and down the coast of America. We bore away to the north till we were off the coast of Kamschatka, and within a day's sail of Petropaulovski, before we turned East. Our ship was "The Oceanic," of the famous White Star line, which, if not so magnificent as "The City of Peking," was quite as swift a sailer, cleaving the waters like a sea-bird. In truth, the albatrosses that came about the ship for days from the Aleutian Islands, now soaring in air, and now skimming the waters, did not float along more easily or more gracefully.

As we crossed the 180th degree of longitude, just half the 422 way around the world from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, we "gained a day," or rather, recovered one that we had lost. As we had started eastward, we lost a few minutes each day, and had to set our watches every noon. We were constantly changing our meridian, so that no day ended where it began, and we never had a day of full twenty-four hours, but always a few minutes, like sands, had crumbled away. By the time we reached England, five hours had thus dropped into the sea; and when we had compassed the globe, we had parted, inch by inch, moment by moment, with a whole day. It seemed as if this were so much blotted out from the sum of our being—gone in the vast and wandering air—lost in the eternities, from which nothing is ever recovered. But these lost moments and hours were all gathered up in the chambers of the East, and now in mid-ocean, one morning brought us a day not in the calendar, to be added to the full year. Two days bore the same date, the 18th of June, and as this fell on a Sunday, two holy days came together—one the Sabbath of Asia, the other of America. It seemed fit that this added day should be a sacred one, for it was something taken, as it were, from another portion of time to be added to our lives—a day which came to us fresh from its ocean baptism, with not a tear of sorrow or a thought of sin to stain its purity; and we kept a double Sabbath in the midst of the sea.

Seventeen days on the Pacific, with nothing to break the boundless monotony! In all that breadth of ocean which separates Asia and America, we saw not a single sail on the horizon; and no land, not even an island, till we came in sight of those shores which are dearer to us than any other in all the round world.

Here, in sight of land, this story ends. There is no need to tell of crossing the continent, which completed our circuit of the globe, but only to add in a word the lesson and the moral of this long journey. Going around the world is an 423 education. It is not a mere pastime; it is often a great fatigue; but it is a means of gaining knowledge which can only be obtained by observation. Charles V. used to say that "the more languages a man knew, he was so many more times a man." Each new form of human speech introduced him into a new world of thought and life. So in some degree is it in traversing other continents, and mingling with other races. However great America may be, it is "something" to add to it a knowledge of Europe and Asia. Unless one be encased in pride, or given over to "invincible ignorance," it will teach him modesty. He will boast less of his own country, though perhaps he will love it more. He will see the greatness of other nations, and the virtues of other people. Even the turbaned Orientals may teach us a lesson in dignity and courtesy—a lesson of repose, the want of which is a defect in our national character. In every race there is something good—some touch of gentleness that makes the whole world kin. Those that are most strange and far from us, as we approach them, show qualities that win our love and command our respect.

In all these wanderings, I have met no rudeness in word or act from Turks or Arabs, Hindoos or Malays, Chinese or Japanese; but have often received kindness from strangers. The one law that obtains in all nations is the law of kindness. Have I not a right to say that to know men is to love them, not to hate them nor despise them?

He who hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the earth, hath not forgotten any of His children. There is a beauty in every country and in every clime. Each zone of the earth is belted with its peculiar vegetation; and there is a beauty alike in the pines on Norwegian hills, and the palms on African deserts. So with the diversities of the human race. Man inhabits all climes, and though he changes color with the sun, and has many varieties of form and feature, yet the race is the same; all have the same attributes 424 of humanity, and under a white or black skin beats the same human heart. In writing of peoples far remote, my wish has been to bring them nearer, and to bind them to us by closer bonds of sympathy. If these pictures of Asia make it a little more real, and inspire the feeling of a common nature with the dusky races that live on the other side of the globe, and so infuse a larger knowledge and a gentler charity, then a traveller's tale may serve as a kind of lay sermon, teaching peace and good will to men.


[1] That we may not do injustice, we add the excuse which is given, which is, that such attendance of the police is necessary to prevent a general mélée and bloodshed. It seems that these fakirs, holy as they are, belong to different sects, between which there are deadly feuds, and if left to themselves unrestrained, when brought into close contact in a procession, they might tear each other in pieces. But this would be no great loss to the world.

[2] Mr. Talboys Wheeler.

[3] There are many parallels between Louis XIV. and Aurungzebe. They were contemporaries—and both had long reigns, the former a little over, and the latter a little less than, half a century. They were the most splendid sovereigns of their time—one in Europe, and the other in Asia, and with both the extravagance and prodigality of the monarchs prepared the way for revolution after their deaths.

[4] This is given as an average distance in an air line. The nearest peak, Boonderpunch (Monkey's Tail), is forty-five miles as the crow flies, though by the nearest accessible route, it is a hundred and forty! Nunda Davee is a hundred and ten in an air line, but by the paths over the mountains, must be over two hundred.

[5] A very fascinating book, especially to Alpine tourists, or those fond of climbing mountains. The title, "The Abode of Snow," is a translation of the word Himalaya. The writer is a son of the late Dr. Wilson, of Bombay. Taking a new field, he has produced a story of travel and adventure, which will be apt to tempt others to follow him.

[6] "Narrative of Mr. Shepherd." He owed his escape to the fact that before the surrender of the garrison he had made an attempt to pass through the rebel lines and carry word to Allahabad to hasten the march of troops to its relief, and had been taken and thrown into prison, and was there at the time of the massacre.

[7] As the historian of the mutiny has frequent occasion to speak of the treachery of the Sepoys, it should not be forgotten that to this there were splendid exceptions; that some were "found faithful among the faithless." Even in the regiments that mutinied there were some who were not carried away by the general madness; and, when the little remnant of English soldiers retreated into the Residency, these loyal natives went with them, and shared all the dangers and hardships of the siege. Even after it was begun, they were exposed to every temptation to seduce them from their allegiance; for as the lines of the besiegers drew closer to the Residency and hemmed it in on every side, the assailants were so near that they could talk with those within over the palisades of the intrenchments, and the Sepoys appealed to their late fellow-soldiers by threats, and taunts, and promises; by pride of race and of caste; by their love of country and of their religion, to betray the garrison. But not a man deserted his post. Hundreds were killed in the siege, and their blood mingled with that of their English companions-in-arms. History does not record a more noble instance of fidelity.

[8] There are not many Americans in Calcutta, and as they are few, we are the more concerned that they should be respectable, and not dishonor our national character. Sometimes I am told we have had representatives of whom we had no reason to be proud. We are now most fortunate in our Consul, General Litchfield, a gentleman of excellent character, who is very obliging to his countrymen, and commands in a high degree the respect of the English community. There is here also an American pastor, Dr. Thorburn, who is very popular, and whose people are building him a new church while he is absent on a visit to his own country; and what attracts a stranger still more, an excellent family of American ladies, engaged in the Zenana Mission, which is designed to reach Hindoo women, who, as they live in strict seclusion, can never hear of Christianity except through those of their own sex. This hospitable "Home" was made ours for a part of the time that we were in Calcutta, for which, and for all the kindness of these excellent ladies, we hold it in grateful remembrance.

[9] This book furnishes a good illustration of the incidental service which missionaries—aside from the religious work they do—render to the cause of geography, of science, and of literature. They are the most indefatigable explorers, and the most faithful and authentic narrators of what they see. Its full title is: "Burmah: its People and Natural Productions; or Notes on the Natives, Fauna, Flora, and Minerals, of Tenasserim, Pegu, and Burmah; With systematic catalogues of the known Mammals, Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, Insects, Mollusks, Crustaceans, Anellides, Radiates, Plants, and Minerals, with vernacular names." In his preface the writer says:

"No pretensions are made in this work to completeness. It is not a book composed in the luxury of literary leisure, but a collection of Notes [What is here so modestly called Notes, is an octavo of over 900 pages] which I have been making during the twenty years of my residence in this country, in the corners of my time that would otherwise have been wasted. Often to forget my weariness when travelling, when it has been necessary to bivouac in the jungles; while the Karens have been seeking fuel for their night-fires, or angling for their suppers in the stream; I have occupied myself with analyzing the flowers that were blooming around my couch; or examining the fish that were caught; or an occasional reptile, insect, or bird, that attracted my attention. With such occupations I have brightened many a solitary hour; and often has the most unpromising situation proved fruitful in interest; for 'the barren heath, with its mosses, lichens, and insects, its stunted shrubs and pale flowers, becomes a paradise under the eye of observation; and to the genuine thinker the sandy beach and the arid wild are full of wonders.'"

[10] Dr. S. Wells Williams, who was familiar with Buddhism during his forty years residence in China, says ("Middle Kingdom," Vol. II., p. 257):

"The numerous points of similarity between the rites of the Buddhists and those of the Romish Church, early attracted attention, ... such as the vow of celibacy in both sexes, the object of their seclusion, the loss of hair, taking a new name and looking after the care of the convent. There are many grounds for supposing that their favorite goddess Kwanyin, i. e., the Hearer of Cries, called also Holy Mother, Queen of Heaven, is only another form of Our Lady. The monastic habit, holy water, counting rosaries to assist in prayer, the ordinances of celibacy and fasting, and reciting masses for the dead, worship of relics, and canonization of saints, are alike features of both sects. Both burn candles and incense, and bells are much used in their temples: both teach a purgatory, from which the soul can be delivered by prayers, and use a dead language for their liturgy, and their priests pretend to miracles. These striking resemblances led the Romish missionaries to suppose that some of them had been derived from the Romanists or Syrians who entered China before the twelfth century; others referred them to St. Thomas, but Prémare ascribes them to the devil, who had thus imitated holy mother church in order to scandalize and oppose its rights. But as Davis observes: 'To those who admit that most of the Romish ceremonies are borrowed directly from Paganism, there is less difficulty in accounting for the resemblance.'"

The following scene in a Buddhist temple described by an eye-witness, answers to what is often seen in Romish churches:

"There stood fourteen priests, seven on each side of the altar, erect, motionless, with clasped hands and downcast eyes, their shaven heads and flowing gray robes adding to their solemn appearance. The low and measured tones of the slowly moving chant they were singing might have awakened solemn emotions, and called away the thoughts from worldly objects. Three priests kept time with the music, one beating an immense drum, another a large iron vessel, and a third a wooden bell. After chanting, they kneeled upon low stools, and bowed before the colossal image of Buddha, at the same time striking their heads upon the ground. Then rising and facing each other, they began slowly chanting some sentences, and rapidly increasing the music and their utterance until both were at the climax of rapidity, they diminished in the same way until they had returned to the original measure.... The whole service forcibly reminded me of scenes in Romish chapels."

[11] Dr. Haswell died a few months after we left Burmah.

[12] As this incident has excited a great deal of interest, I am happy to give it as it occurred from an eye-witness. One who was on board of Commodore Tatnall's ship writes:

"I was present at the battle in the Pei-ho in 1859, and know all the particulars. Admiral Hope having been wounded, was urged to bring up the marines before sunset, and sent his aid down to take them off the three junks, where they were waiting at the mouth of the river. The aid came on board the "Toeywan" to see Commodore Tatnall, tell him the progress of the battle, and what he had been sent down for, adding that, as the tide was running out, it would be hard work getting up again. As he went on, Tatnall began to get restless, and turning to me (I sat next), said: 'Blood is thicker than water; I don't care if they do take away my commission.' Then turning to his own flag-lieutenant at the other end of the table, he said aloud: 'Get up steam;' and everything was ready for a start in double-quick time. When all was prepared, the launches, full of marines, were towed into action by the "Toeywan"; and casting them off, the Commodore left in his barge to go on board the British flag-ship, to see the wounded Admiral. On the way his barge was hit, his coxswain killed, and the rest just managed to get on board the "Lee" before their boat sunk, owing their lives probably to his presence of mind. It was only the men in this boat's crew who helped to work the British guns. I suppose Tatnall never meant his words to be repeated, but Hope's aid overheard them, and thus immortalized them."

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